The best place to start to manufacture a FMCG?


I think I may have found a niche in FMCG. If I am looking to manufacture something (not a food), where would be the best place to start in finding manufacturers? I am based in the UK. I believe I will need some kind of chemical engineer, or similar.

Many thanks!

UK Niche

asked Dec 4 '10 at 22:46
6 points
  • Hi there, and welcome to this site! :-) It could be helpful if you define what "FMCG" is. – Jesper Mortensen 13 years ago
  • Fast moving consumer goods, in the USA we call them consumer goods, such as soft drinks, food, toothpaste etc. – Frank 13 years ago

2 Answers


I would suggest manufacturing your product in the country you want to sell it. The reason for this is that countries like the USA and UK have strong consumer protection agencies that police Consumer goods. You cannot simply go to China, manufacter your product based on their poor standards and then sell it locally. That approach makes sense way later down the line as a cost reduction strategy.

Based on the specific product, you will have to put in the research to find "Contract Manufacturers" who can help you with your product. Be prepared, it is very expensive to get into the consumer products industries. My advice is to start very small, and focus on quality, reputation, and customer satisfaction.

answered Dec 5 '10 at 11:45
2,079 points
  • You are aware that pretty much everything sold in the US is not made in the US and a big part of that is done in china? – Net Tecture 13 years ago
  • I am completey aware, but the Consumer goods market is a bit different. There are serious issues with trying to manufactuer a consumable product in China, and to do so takes serious investment. A few years ago Mattel moved their toy manufacturing to china, even with safegaurds in place the chinese decided to use lead paint to save a few RMBs. It cost Mattel a lot to clean up the mistake and to try and regain their reputation. As a STARTUP, you simply cannot afford to start on the wrong track. China, Mexico, Brazil, and India are all great once you have a viable business. They can help you – Frank 13 years ago
  • save money, but you need to understand that operating as a MultiNational company is quite different, has deep involvement in geo polotics, and global manufacturing takes a very watchful eye for quality. My advice, do like Burts Bees did, create a product that is popular, in demand, high quality. Once you sell your company to Proctor and Gamble they will figure out where to manufacture it for cheap. – Frank 13 years ago


Manufacturing is important, but is it the first question?

First, you need market analysis and research to quantify the opportunity.

Next, you must look at sales and distribution and understand, for instance, the questions that buyers in major retail chains will ask. How will your idea translate into value for them? How will you get your first test market?

Then, if your product (its formulation, its production process, its physical characteristics) is going to need certification on the one hand or protection on the other, you need to get this realistically costed and time-lined.

Next, how are you going to obtain samples or mock-ups of the product and appropriately designed packaging, and what about the first production runs? The UK isn't always the best place for volume manufacturing, but that isn't your immediate question. For now, you should be looking at contract manufacturers and product designers. As the UK has great quality and choice in both, start with domestic options. That will simplify communication and co-ordination, and de-risk the early period which is expensive in time and cash.

All of this presupposes that your best route is to do the whole thing yourself. For many innovators in consumer goods, the most effective route to market is either partnership with manufacturers or distribution channels, or selling the idea in to established brands. These are additional options you may choose to explore.

answered Dec 5 '10 at 19:27
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points

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