Let's take a closer look at each of the terms below.
What does 'FMCG' mean?
FMCG simply stands for 'Fast Moving Consumer Goods'.
Nice and simple definition then - now, let's have a look at a few examples so that you can fully understand the term in more detail.
Examples of fast moving consumer goods
FMCG products can be thought of as those which are not involved in production but are intended for use by the end customer, or consumer. Such goods often have a short lifespan and/or shelf-life and have to be replaced regularly.
Here are a few examples:
- Food/perishable items
- Personal care products
- Computer games/board games
- Soft home furnishings
- Mobile phones/other technology
Basically, FMCG's are products that satisfy consumer demand. Another way to think about these goods is to compare them to their opposite - 'Capitol Goods'.
Let's take a look at what these are.
Sometimes called 'Complex Products and Systems' (CoPS), Capitol Goods is a term that refers to assets that are used to produce other goods (normally FMCG's). Such goods will therefore have a much longer lifespan and are usually not relevant to the end consumer - they are used by businesses and organisations instead.
Examples Of Capitol Goods
Here are a few examples of Capitol Goods:
- Factory equipment, such as CNC machinery and lines
- Power generators
- Data centres and supercomputers
- Office equipment. computers etc
- Industrial drilling equipment
Basically, Capitol Goods allow companies to manufacture the products demanded by the end user.
What are the main differences between FMCG's and CoPS?
The main differences between FMCG's and CoPS should be quite clear from the above - the latter refers to the goods that produce the end product, the former refers to the goods that are sold to the end consumer.
However, as with most things, it's not quite that simple. Let's talk about Consumer Durables for a second.
What are consumer durables?
Going by the two examples above, equipment like office computers could be considered 'Capitol Goods' as they are used by businesses in the production of products for sale to the end consumer.
However, computers are used by the end consumer for recreation and they have a much longer lifespan that something like food, for example.
That's where the Consumer Durable's definition comes in. This term refers to products that can be bought by consumers, but that have a longer shelf life and lifespan.
They are more 'heavy duty' than FMCG's, but they are not on the same scale as Capitol Goods.
Summing this up
FMCG: Products with shorter shelf lives sold to the consumer market
Capitol Goods (CoPS): Heavy duty products/machinery sold to businesses/producers
Consumer Durables: Products sold to the consumer, longer shelf/lifespan but not on the same scale as Capitol Goods
Thanks for reading,
By Alan MacDougall
Got a nagging marketing question? Ask me here.
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Revenue Builder is a small business marketing strategy advice blog, written to help small business owners and startups maximise sales revenue.