FMCGs, or Fast Moving Consumer Goods, are any type of commercial products that are produced at a low unit cost and tend to sell quickly. Typically, a lower amount of profit is made on each individual FMCG that is sold, but the constant demand helps to produce volume sales that help to create a healthy cumulative profit on all units sold within a given period. There are a number of retail products that fit this basic profile, with many of the items found in just about every home around the world.
One of the characteristics that define any type of product as a true FMCG is the fact that it is non-durable. This leads to a continual cycle of consumption that makes it feasible to mass produce the goods. Pre-packaged foods are a good example of this characteristic. The food is purchased, then consumed. When the food is gone, consumers return to a retail outlet to purchase more units of the pre-packaged food.
Toiletries and personal hygiene products are also included in the FMCG classification. Soap, toothpaste and mouthwash as well as toilet paper are non-durable goods that must be repurchased from time to time. Toilet paper is also one of the essential PMCG products found in most homes.
Home cleaning products such as bleach, detergent, dishwashing liquid and glass cleaner would also be identified as an FMCG product. The same is true for rug cleaners, furniture polish, and foam cleaners for sinks and bathtubs.
Pharmaceuticals are also normally classified as a Fast Moving Consumer Good. This includes over the counter medications, creams, and muscle rubs as well as any type of prescription medication. Non-traditional health aids such as vitamin and herbal supplements would also be classified as a FMCG.
Consumer electronics are considered a sub-classification of a FMCG. Known as Fast Moving Consumer Electronics, or FMCEs, items like digital cameras, laptop and notebook computers, and cell phones are excellent examples of non-durable goods within this category. In each case, the FMCE is purchased, used for a period of time, and eventually replaced by another unit of like make and model or one that is more technologically advanced.
There is some difference of opinion as to what type of goods should be classified as a true FMCG. In the United Kingdom, it is not unusual for refrigerators or ovens to be considered an example of a “white good” FMCG. Smaller appliances are also part of the FMCG family and are identified as brown goods. Items such as televisions or portable stereo systems are examples of what is meant by a “brown good.”