PepsiCo and Walmart top Kantar PoweRanking survey
PepsiCo has taken the top spot in Kantar Consulting's PoweRanking of suppliers for the third year in a row, while Walmart held onto the top retailer spot for the 22nd consecutive year, Marketing Daily reported. Coca-Cola came in second on the suppliers list, followed by Proctor & Gamble, Kraft Heinz and Kellogg. Kroger was second on the retailer list, with Amazon, Target and Costco after that.
Kantar's executive summary explained that specific goals of the research were to identify the best manufacturers and retailers as evaluated by their trading partners, provide insight into what makes them the best, define the importance of key metrics between trading partners, and highlight areas of improvement.
More than 444 manufacturers and retailers responded to the annual confidential questionnaire, Kantar noted. They were sent to retailers and wholesalers in food, drug, mass merchandise, dollar, convenience and club channels, and to manufacturers in food, household products, general merchandise, and health and beauty care categories.
Those responding to this year's PoweRanking survey assessed manufacturers and retailers on a series of key metrics. They included, among others, clearest company strategy, best store branding, best supply chain management and best use of digital platforms.
On the supplier side, PepsiCo again nabbed the No. 1 position for having the best combination of growth and profitability, most innovative marketing approach and best use of digital platforms — including marketing and e-commerce, Marketing Daily reported.
Dan Raynak, Kantar's chief client officer, told the publication that PepsiCo's lead compared to the rest of the suppliers being ranked was the largest his firm had seen in years. Because of its "strong growth mindset," he said the beverage company has managed to do very well despite the current "chaotic, disruptive, and uncomfortable retail market."
While PepsiCo has experienced recent disruptions — CEO Indra Nooyi stepped down last month after 12 years in the position, and major competitor Coca-Cola has been ramping up its advertising — the company's most recent earnings report exceeded Wall Street expectations with an organic growth rate of 2.5% for its North American beverage segment and a 16% jump in net income from the third quarter of 2017.
Kellogg made notable progress from the 2017 survey by moving up three spots to No. 5 this year, Kantar said. The CPG company was credited for effectively shifting gears from a cost-cutting focus to one of investing for top-line growth. Mondelez also moved up three places this year, going from No. 9 last year to No. 6 this time.
When it comes to retailers, Walmart came out on top because of its clear strategy, supply chain, digital resources and manufacturer belief in future performance, the survey found.
"In addition, the findings show that click-and-collect is becoming a very effective e-commerce model versus direct to consumer via Amazon," Raynak said. "This at a time when manufacturer confidence in the future of Walmart and Amazon, as well as Kroger, is growing."
The country's largest retailer has consistently beaten its competitors when it comes to click-and-collect. According to Packaged Facts, 42% of consumers said Walmart was the pickup location for their most recent order — triple the number who named Target.
"Walmart is famous for their clarity of strategy and supply chain expertise. Not only are they positioned well to win strategically and operationally, but they also have the financial resources and talent that has both skill and grit," Raynak said.
Kantar noted that Amazon had moved up one spot this year to No. 3, Meijer went from from No. 7 to No. 6 and CVS had made it from No. 11 to No. 10 because of "the clarity of their health strategy." CVS plans to close its $69-billion merger with Aetna by Thanksgiving, according to The Wall Street Journal, which will bring together the giant drugstore chain and the third-largest health insurer.
Given all the innovations, investments and M&A continuing to occur in both the retail and manufacturing industries, Kantar can expect more shifting to occur on its annual survey rankings — though it remains to be seen if anyone can dethrone the two reigning champions.
- Kantar Consulting SHIFTING GEARS The 5 Gears of Growth in a Post-Cost-Cutting Era US 2018
- Marketing Daily PepsiCo, Walmart Top Kantar PowerRanking