Malaysia’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment displayed its resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic, registering a 6.6% year-on-year growth rate in 2020 over the previous year. It also represents one of the most important consumer goods sectors in the country, with one-fifth of Malaysian household consumption expenditure going to the FMCG industry.

2022 consumer trends and the impact of consumer behaviour on skills and talent

The unique circumstances of the pandemic have had a direct impact on the way consumers approach shopping. Here are a few of the most important customer trends that companies in the FMCG industry need to take note of:

1. all-around health will be a growing priority

Health has become a top concern for all demographics, both in terms of physical and mental well-being. As such, demand for items like health supplements and hygiene products surged as customers are now more willing to spend more to boost their immune systems and protect themselves from illness.

Health has also become a priority in terms of how customers purchase goods. For instance, the use of self-checkout and other means of contactless delivery is becoming more important for health-conscious shoppers in Malaysia. This presents an opportunity for FMCG companies in Malaysia to leverage technology to provide more hygienic shopping experiences.

2. lower trip frequency, bigger baskets will become the norm in the stay-at-home economy

The Asia Brand Footprint 2021 published by Kantar noted that global consumers made 1.6 billion fewer grocery trips in 2020 compared to 2019, to limit the risk of contracting the virus. But while purchase frequency fell by 2%, spend per trip rose 11%.

This low frequency, big basket size behaviour is related to the stay-at-home economy, where consumers stock up on goods and embrace the homebody lifestyle. More people brought their outdoor activities indoors, cooking their meals and hosting happy hours virtually in their living rooms.

With the ongoing pandemic and shifting consumer behaviours, at-home consumption will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.

consumer behaviour in 2022
consumer behaviour in 2022

3. convenience-driven retail will thrive

With consumers juggling both professional and personal lives in their homes, they seek convenience where they can get it. That’s why neighbourhood convenience stores in Malaysia are thriving, with the top three grocery sources being local stores (40%), 99 Speedmart (39%), and Tesco (21%).

As digital habits begin to stick, Randstad Malaysia predicts that Malaysian consumers will seek convenience in terms of retail payment options as well.

4. value-based shopping a trend among younger consumers

According to a survey by NielsenIQ, consumers in Asia are more conscious of their shopping choices’ impact on the environment, with 69% saying they would switch to an eco-friendly brand with the same price and quality and 72% saying naturally-produced products are more important to them than three years ago.

In the same vein, customers are also more likely to support local brands as opposed to global multinationals. The survey revealed that 49% of respondents prefer to buy local brands to support homegrown businesses.

talent and salary trends in fast-moving consumer goods in 2022

In light of these trends, there will be more demand for digital roles in the FMCG sector now and in the coming years, particularly in the fields of digital marketing and e-commerce.

Analytics-driven roles like data analysts and consumer insights managers will be more critical as FMCG companies leverage data to improve existing operations and customer experience, as well as keep up with changing consumer behaviour and needs.

Meanwhile, trade marketing managers will also be highly sought-after as FMCG companies figure out how to improve in-store promotions with consumers spending less time in physical shops.

On top of salary, candidates in the FMCG market are also looking for organisational value alignment. This means that the company’s values should be aligned with their personal ones, which would help them become more motivated workers. While salary will always be an important factor in any candidate’s decision-making process, job seekers are now starting to consider other employee benefits as well as work culture when looking for an employer to work for in 2022.

download labour market outlook report in malaysia 2022
download labour market outlook report in malaysia 2022

download the digital copy of the 2022 malaysia’s job market outlook and salary snapshot report.

key highlights in the FMCG industry outlook in 2022

  • understanding the changing consumer behaviour on online shopping and addressing the shifting customers' needs
  • the demand for FMCG companies to keep up with technologies for a sustainable digital customer experience
  • salary snapshots for the top FMCG jobs in Malaysia in 2022.

read more on the 2022 talent trends in malaysia in other industries:

The 2022 Market Outlook and Salary Snapshot report looks at talent analysis and new post-pandemic salary benchmarks in the following high-growth industries in Malaysia:

If finding exceptional talent for your business is a key challenge or if you want to take your workforce ready for the future of work, please get in touch with us. You can also check our key areas of expertise.

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