Consumer Goods

This end-user segment covers durables such as consumer electronics, furniture and domestic appliances, as well as food and beverage, personal care and cleaning products. At 16 percent of revenue, it is one of our two smaller segments, to which we sell both coatings and chemicals.


There is a shift from mature to high growth regions. In some sectors (consumer electronics and domestic appliances), this has been so dramatic that production in high growth regions now outstrips the mature economies. In other sectors (furniture, food and beverage, personal care), while growth in production and demand is higher in high growth areas, the main global production base remains in Europe and North America. Reasonable growth rates are expected in all sectors, but for some, such as consumer electronics, domestic appliance and personal care, growth rates are expected to be higher.

The geographic shift has changed demand patterns, with an emphasis in high growth markets on more affordable goods. But shifts in consumption are not restricted to high growth markets. Globally, there is evidence of the “vanishing middle”, with consumers buying either premium products or basic alternatives.

Future sustainability developments

The WBCSD expects consumer durables to last longer, with package recycling being integrated into business models. By 2050, it is forecast people will only use five tons of non-renewable materials each, down from today’s 85 tons (US).

Implications for strategy and actions

We need to optimize our design, sales, technical service and production to address the geographic shift, including building more capabilities in high growth areas and continuing to restructure in mature regions. We also need differentiated business models with appropriate value and cost trade-offs.

Domestic appliance production 1
$ billion, value added

Consumer Goods – Domestic appliance production in $ billion, value added (line chart)

Food and beverage production
$ billion, value added

Consumer Goods – Food and beverage production in $ billion, value added (line chart)

Personal care 2
$ billion, retail value

Consumer Goods – Personal care in $ billion, retail value (line chart)

1 Source: Oxford Economics, January 2014.
2 Source: Euromonitor International, December 2013.

Where you can find some of our products:

Consumer Goods – Where some of our products are used (diagram)