“From Resilience to Reinvention: Sustainable Growth in the Next Era”

PARIS and SHANGHAI, 28th March 2023 – From 20th to 22nd March, 2023, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) 5th China Day was successfully held in Shanghai, including CEO speakers from leading consumer goods companies and professionals from all sectors, and offering a diverse platform for companies to discuss the industry’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

The series of 2-days events also included the 11th GFSI China Focus Day, the 3rd CGF China Health and Sustainability Collaboration Conference, the 2nd CGF China Digital Supply Chain Conference, the 1st “Decarbonisation-friendly Actions” Seminar, and the GFSI China Local Group General Meeting. 

CGF China was committed to showcasing the four pillars of the CGF, including Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Sustainability, and E2E Value Chain, to lead the development of the industry around China and the world. 

Wai-Chan CHAN, CGF Managing Director  

warmly welcomed all participants on behalf of the CGF. He expressed gratitude to the sponsors for their strong support and introduced the CGF global strategic framework and the CGF global events including the GFSI Conference and the Global Summit.

Daniel (Yong) ZHANG, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group and CGF Global and China Board Co-chair

Mr Zhang delivered an opening speech. He welcomed the guests present on behalf of CGF Global and China Board to attend the three-day conference with rich activities. He said that more partners are expected to participate in CGF’s four coalitions in China, including Product Data, Healthy Lives, Sustainability, and Food Safety, to reach a consensus and implement actions together for an innovative future. When talking about the resilience of and confidence in China’s consumer market, Daniel ZHANG hoped that both Chinese and foreign consumer goods companies, including manufacturers, consumer brands, retailers, and all new players around the industrial chain, can join the CGF to shape an industrial consensus and serve Chinese consumers well. He said he was confident in China’s consumer market, “Our confidence in consumption comes from everyone’s aspiration for a better life. Meanwhile, enterprises’ ambition for greater success is another source of confidence in China’s future consumption.” “We are convinced that both local and multinational companies can do something practical to meet the actual needs of the market in China, pursuing a common social goal that goes beyond their own development.”

Jeffrey (Minfang) LU, CEO of Mengniu Group, CGF Global Board Member and China Board Co-chair

Mr Lu gave a keynote speech titled ‘How Can We Promote the Sustainable Development of Our Industry after All the Difficulties’. In his speech, Jeffrey LU noted that the consumer goods industry was faced with scores of risks and challenges since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago. He said it is necessary to find solutions from partners, consumers, and peers, strive to create more value for consumers, better collaborate with participants in the supply chain to cope with fluctuations, and enable the whole industry chain to provide better services for customers and consumers. Only when the participants in the supply chain better connect and collaborate can we better maintain business resilience. The sustainable development of the consumer goods industry requires social recognition and extensive engagement. Jeffrey LU underscored that Mengniu is committed to exploring and building the business resilience of the consumer goods industry. He said, “ESG and other topics that do not seem to directly bring business value determine whether high-quality and sustainable development can be achieved. Never be bearish, but bullish on China’s economy and market. I hope that more consumer goods enterprises can actively participate in the CGF collaboration agenda, promote the implementation of various initiatives, and contribute Chinese wisdom to the sustainable development of the industry.”

Wenzhong ZHANG, Founder of Wumart Group/Dmall

Mr Zhang highlighted in his keynote speech that China’s retail industry has moved past the COVID-19 pandemic and left the era of uncertainty featuring heavy investment and e-commerce-based local retail. Instead, it is in an era of certainty characterized by comprehensive digitization and a return to the essence of business. The integration of online and offline channels led by digitization and artificial intelligence is the foreseeable future of retail. He stressed that digitalization is the future of human beings and the future of the circulation industry. Retail enterprises must reach and serve users with digital methods in close combination with their own advantages. Online and offline integration fully uses the advantages and resources of customers, supermarkets, supply chains and retail talent to obtain better experience at lower costs and higher efficiency, so as to enable tens of millions of retail practitioners to be part of the digital process and benefit from the digital dividend, which is in line with the CGF idea.

Ms. Daisy (Ying) SHEN, Head of Climate and Sustainability, KPMG China 

Ms Shen was invited to attend the event and released the 2022 CGF Annual Report with the theme of “Positive Actions together through Business Resilience”. Ms. SHEN said that KPMG Global Network has worked closely with CGF to prepare this annual report, contributing professional strength and solutions to the sustainable development of the consumer goods industry. She briefed on the progress made by the CGF and the Coalitions of Action in 2022 and the main highlights of the 2023 outlook.

Larry FENG, One Mars China Lead, Mars Wrigley China President

Mr Feng said under the guidance of the corporate vision that “Tomorrow Starts Today”, Mars has long built a future where mankind and pets thrive in a more inclusive society on the healthier planet. Through practical efforts, Mars is actively engaged in developing a resilient and sustainable food system that meets the requirements of food security, food safety, nutrition for health and wellness, and environmental protection. Such a sustainable food system should have four elements, which can be summarized as 4S, i.e. sufficient, safe, sophisticated and sustainable.

Mr. David (Xiqiang) ZHANG, EVP of Nestlé Group, and Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Zone Greater China,

Mr Zhang introduced the sustainable development commitment of the Company to “Advance Regenerative Food Systems at Scale”. Nestlé is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In the process, the Company continues to promote the transition to sustainable packaging, and carries out practical actions from multiple dimensions such as reducing the use of packaging materials, expanding reusable or refillable packaging methods, alternative packaging material R&D, and developing infrastructure for a “zero waste future”. Nestlé promotes the Forest Positive strategy around the world to achieve zero deforestation in major supply chains such as meat, palm oil, pulp and papermaking, soybeans and cane sugar, and carries out a global reforestation program in which it strives to plant and cultivate 200 million trees worldwide by 2030. It fully integrates sustainable development into consumer communication, including the carbon reduction friendly action focusing on the consumption field launched together with 19 enterprises such as Alibaba last year. In addition, the Company comprehensively upgrades its nutrition strategy in a bid to bring a balanced diet into the daily life of people around the world, and starts with its 2022 annual financial report, in which it revealed the nutritional value of its global product portfolio.

Mr. Joost VLAANDEREN, President of Mondelēz Greater China

Mr Vlaanderen delivered a keynote speech at the event. Taking Mondelēz Suzhou’s “WEF Lighthouse Factory” as an example, he explained in simple terms how Mondelēz Greater China can achieve business growth and sustainable development through digitalization and lead the future of sustainable development in the snack industry. At the same time, Mr. Joost Vlaanderen, as a roundtable guest, conducted in-depth discussions and exchanges with his peers on the topic of “Embedding Health & Sustainability Throughout the Value Chain – Can Business Resilience be Truly Sustainable”.

Ms. (Ying) SHEN, Moderator of the Roundtable

Ms Shen had insightful discussions on the theme of “Embedding Health & Sustainability Throughout the Value Chain – Can Business Resilience be Truly Sustainable” with Mr. Larry Feng, Mars Wrigley China President, Mr. David (Xiqiang) ZHANG, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Zone Greater China, and Mr. Joost Vlaanderen, President of Mondelēz Greater China. Guests presented inspiring views on how companies can achieve business resilience and sustainable development and promote sustainable consumption market.

Ms. Christina (Xiaojing) ZHU, President and CEO of Walmart China

Ms Zhu shared the keynote speech “Better Business: for Better Community, Better Earth”. She believed that the long-term success of an company depends on whether it can create value for society and the way it creates value. Adhering to the concept of “beyond sustainability”, Walmart strives to transform into a resource-renewable company that puts people and nature at the core of its business development. Regeneration involves not only conservation, but also restoration, renovation and replenishment. Through constant self-motivation, we have set up evaluation methods and reporting procedures for goal achievement and process advancement in Walmart, and integrated the building of a resilient society into all aspects of our business. Through in-depth engagement with our stakeholders, we work together to create resilient business and natural environments to bring a better life to all.

Shaohua PU, President of Bailian Group

Mr Pu delivered a keynote speech titled “Innovative Contents and Scenes in the Traditional Space”. He said that in the post-pandemic era, in order to cope with challenges such as changes in consumer demand, differentiation of offline customer flow, homogeneous brand competition, experience business that recovers faster than the retail business, and unreasonable traditional property structure, Bailian Group has implemented multiple projects to increase lifestyles, cater to the needs of Generation Z, and integrate cultural and artistic elements, including: introducing camping, sailing, cycling and other elements into traditional business to explore the integration of space and lifestyle; launching Bailian TX Huaihai and Bailian ZX Creativity Mall to meet the needs of young consumers, and explore the integration of space and trends; launching BAIwork Brunner Mond and Hong Kong Road projects to combine daily life and avant-garde art, explore the integration of space and culture, and enable traditional space to generate greater social, humanistic and economic benefits. Bailian will keep practising to renew urban space through business development, thus building a more resilient and colourful urban future.

Derek DENG, Partner at Bain & Company, Head of Greater China Consumer Products & Yang LIU, General Manager, Taobao Tmall IDO Div. Brand Excellence Strategy

Me Deng delivered speeches titled “Feel the Heartbeat of Today’s Consumers – Insights into the Sustainable Consumption through the Lens of Strategic Consumer Groups 2.0”. They said that under the trend of “consumption symbolisation”, consumers’ decision-making logic is increasingly complex, showing three sets of seemingly contradictory but consistent characteristics: the organic coexistence of “sensibility and rationality”, “pragmatism and exquisiteness”, “self and community”. This brings new challenges to the brand in the process of exploring consumers and gaining insights about consumer groups. The Strategic Consumer Groups 2.0 is based on the basic demographics of the original eight consumer groups, combined with ideological dimensions of economics, sociology, psychology, communication and other disciplines, and supported by the technical capabilities of the platform. With three new dimensions of “consumption preference”, “pioneer degree” and “decision preference”, it has been upgraded from a basic label to a flexible and customisable complete framework of scientific consumer grouping. It allows a more three-dimensional, precise, comprehensive and dynamic definition and description of human consumption attributes.

Daniel HUI, Partner of McKinsey China

Mr Hui released a report titled “Journey towards Sustainable Growth in the China Consumer Industry—Perspectives for the New Epoch”. According to the report, consumer companies are under pressure for sustainable growth, despite a recovering post-pandemic economy; In the short run, the ever-changing demographics and behaviours of Chinese consumers will inspire new thinking and fuel new growth for brands; In the long run, sustainability, diversity & inclusion will be two key topics to address.

Finally, CGF Managing Director Wai-Chan CHAN once again expressed his sincere thanks to all the participants, and sincerely invited them to attend the upcoming CGF Global Summit in Kyoto on June 6-8, 2023, and welcomed more companies to join CGF as a global/local collaboration platform to help drive positive change and efficiency in the consumer goods industry and society.

Access the event online photo gallery and visit our website to learn more about the 2nd CGF China Health and Sustainability Collaboration Conference and the 1st Edition of CGF China Digital Supply Chain Conference. 

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About The Consumer Goods Forum 

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit our website.

This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.

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