Consumer products companies have been dealing with turbulence and disruption for years, but not like the past two years – a global pandemic, massive shifts in consumer behavior, supply chain shocks, and competition from new players are just some of the factors that can inhibit growth. An intense focus on sustainability has consumers and companies at every stage of the value chain rethinking their habits, priorities, and ways of doing business and make ecommerce an essential concern and an important potential opportunity.

We begin the new year confronted by several seemingly contradictory realities. The overall macroeconomic environment faces continued headwinds, yet the outlook for the consumer products industry is relatively bright. More specifically, the service economy continues to suffer, but consumers are shifting their unspent money toward buying more goods. Even within consumer products, there are winners and losers based on how well-positioned companies are to meet the needs of the continued at-home consumption trend. It is a complex and uncertain environment making navigation even more fraught than usual.

The successful product executive in 2022 will need to:

  • Develop a strategy that enables you to reach full potential with today’s business as you make rapid progress toward your future vision.
  • Accelerate brand growth, even in slow-growth categories in developed markets
  • Become a true partner with retailers, managing key accounts more effectively than ever
  • Turn your supply chains into competitive weapons
  • Reshape your brand portfolios through strategic mergers & acquisitions and divestitures, to achieve scale, tap into new growth areas or acquire new capabilities.
  • Simplify, speed up and slim down operating models to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization
  • Build sustainability into your strategy, so you transform it from a challenge to an opportunity.

As noted in Deloitte’s 2021 consumer products industry outlook, there is good reason to be optimistic, about the prospects for growth in the coming year, consumer product executives will need to proceed with care. Based on scenario analysis and input from an external panel of industry executives, Deloitte identifies five strategic moves that they feel represent the direction of the industry in 2021. Specifically, consumer products companies are:

  • Resetting go-to-market strategies,
  • Accelerating the shift to digital,
  • Building supply chain resilience,
  • Investing in tomorrow’s business foundations
  • Connecting purpose to profit.

All of this makes the recruitment and hiring of Consumer Products executives crucial to companies creating and executing on a strategy that turns turbulence into opportunity. Agility and customer intimacy are critical skills today, along with anticipation and mitigation of risks. Implementing strategies such as these will demand of consumer product executive skills that go far beyond what was sufficient in the past.

An effective recruiting partner will know how to identify consumer product leaders who have both the technical and industry experience to drive bottom-line growth and will be a long-term partner who will share in your success.


BrainWorks is a prominent boutique executive search firm offering a 29-year track record of successfully sourcing and placing top talent. By harnessing proven strategies, collaborating with stakeholders, and leveraging a diverse and talented candidate network, BrainWorks helps businesses find, attract, and ultimately hire talented professionals that create differentiated results. To learn more about how Brainworks can help you, contact us.