This year, we have identified 97 insurgent brands (definition below) that are disrupting their fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories in the US. These insurgent brands provide insights into where innovation and disruptive growth is happening in the sector, and they offer useful blueprints for how to achieve sustainable growth during a time when many scale incumbents have reached their limits on price increases and volumes have stagnated. Insurgents on our list prove that a return to volume-driven growth will require a refocus on meaningful consumer-centric value propositions and strong velocities at the shelf.

2024 Highlights

  • Insurgent brands regained momentum in 2023. While accounting for less than 2% of market share in the categories in which they exist, these brands captured nearly 20% of incremental category growth compared with 6% in 2022. They achieved this growth through volume expansion alongside price increases, taking share from larger competitors in a market in which volumes were flat.
  • Insurgent brands had the greatest impact in the nonalcoholic beverage category, with companies such as Celsius, Prime, Cellucor, Ghost, and Alani Nu accounting for 3.4% of market share but capturing more than 35% of the growth. In food, insurgents accounted for less than 1% of market share and captured more than 7% of category growth. And in personal care, insurgents held 2% of market share while taking 16% of category growth.
  • Five of this year’s insurgents reached sales of half a billion dollars or more, proving that these brands can scale if they apply the right growth playbook. At the same time, recent macroeconomic challenges have led to greater movement within the list, with 40% of brands dropping off last year’s list because of lower growth. Only four brands—Chobani, Eos, Kodiak, and Rao’s—remain on the list since its 2016 inception.
  • Emerging insurgent brands—those with sales between $10 million and $25 million while outgrowing their category by 10 times or more—provide an indication of future insurgent winners. Most promising are those with the highest rates of velocity-driven growth, which includes brands such as Goodles, TruRanch, Carbliss, Mike’s Hot Honey, Bizzy Cold Brew, and Odele Beauty.
  • In addition to developing our annual insurgent brands list, we also monitor performance on Amazon and other key online channels using Bain’s proprietary Pyxis capabilities. Brands such as Aloha, Cerebelly, Frida, and HumanN benefit from strong online growth while expanding their presence in traditional tracked channels, increasing the likelihood of qualifying as insurgent brands in the near future.
  • Looking forward, we expect insurgent brands to capture an even greater share of category growth. The past several years of supply chain pressures and price-driven growth have favored scale incumbents. But as consumers seek meaningful value propositions for the prices they are paying and as innovation by large FMCG companies remains limited, insurgents are well positioned to earn an even greater share of the growth.

Read the full article and Insurgent Brands 2024 list at HERE.