Consumer Goods – Making Smart Choices For Simple Living

When you go shopping for groceries or clothing, you probably don’t give much thought into what consumer goods are or the Consumer Goods Act.  The products you buy actually belong to different categories, which are dependently priced upon our actions as consumers-supply and demand.  Let’s talk about consumer goods.

Consumer goods are products bought for individual use like food, paper products, clothing and health aids.  The industry has 10 different categories and consists of packed, durable, and fast-moving products.  The Consumer Goods Act protects consumers from manufacturers’ dishonest practices.

Have you ever thought about who makes the products you buy in stores, and how those products are classified?  Did you know there are laws in place to protect consumers from faulty products and deceitful companies?

What are Consumer Goods?

Consumer goods are the things people buy every day, every week, and every holiday from manufacturers and merchandisers.  It’s the products we consume that are packaged and ready, on a store shelf, for us to use.  Consumer goods range from clothing and shoes to paper products and pre-packaged foods, typically items that are created for immediate use.

Simply packaged jars of jam - Consumer Goods - Gone Minimal
Simply packaged jars of jam

Examples of Consumer Goods

Why do we purchase the things that we do?  It’s because there are things we need, things we use, and of course we’re bombarded with advertisements from tv to social media. Now let’s take a detailed look at consumer goods.

  1. Food and beverages
  2. Clothing 
  3. Health and wellness products
  4. Toys and games
  5. Electronics
  6. Personal care products
  7. Books, music, and movies
  8. Home improvement and gardening supplies
  9. Household goods
  10. Automotive products

Consumer Goods Industry

The consumer goods industry is made up of major companies that make and supply products in certain categories for stores where the consumer in turn purchases them for their individual use.  These companies usually produce within one category, but occasionally they produce goods in more than one.  Here are the 10 categories that make up the consumer goods industry:

  1. Beverage
  2. Tobacco
  3. Health & Beauty Aids
  4. Food
  5. Household Goods
  6. Apparel, Footwear, & Accessories
  7. OTC Pharma
  8. Toys
  9. Housewares & Appliances
  10. Wines & Spirits

Consumer goods are the things people buy every day, every week, and every holiday from manufacturers and merchandisers.

Consumer Goods Companies

Underneath the umbrella of the consumer goods industry are the companies that manufacture the categories of products listed above.  Some of these companies include Nestle, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Adidas, Nintendo, and Whirlpool, just to name a few.  These are the brand names you see on the products you buy, and brands are always competing for your business!  These companies have competed for years with other companies, even much smaller companies, to get you to buy their products. 

According to researchers Hasyim, Nursidah, and Hasjim of Universitas Hasanuddin in Indonesia, even a simple internet search for a product will trigger targeted commercial advertising to convince us to buy things whether we need them or not! And it’s usually those big names that win your attention, putting other companies out of business.  That’s why with some products, as we will review next, it’s best to shop local!

Shopping for tomatoes in a local market - Consumer Goods - Gone Minimal
Shopping for tomatoes in a local market

Packed Consumer Goods

Packed consumer goods, or consumer packaged goods, are those items we purchase and use every day.  These items are routinely replaced, including food, clothing, and household products.  Packed consumer goods are highly competitive because there are so many available brands out there to choose from, and we often switch brands for a lower price, a coupon, or a deal. 

We don’t always put a great deal of thought into these packed consumer goods because we purchase them so often, we use most of them, and we count on them to fulfill a need.  So when you’re looking at toilet paper and cleaning products, a better deal is usually a good thing!

Durable Consumer Goods

Durable consumer goods, or durables, are the items we purchase that are manufactured to last for a couple of years or longer.  They’re called durable because they’re built to last.  These goods include refrigerators, air conditioners, computers, tools, vehicles, and furniture. 

Minimalist durable consumer goods - Consumer Goods - Gone Minimal
Minimalist durable consumer goods

Durable consumer goods are the category that individual wealth is gauged by due to their retention of economic value over a long time period.  This is also the category that measures the strength of the economy-ordering and purchasing more of these things tends to signal sustainable growth of the economy.  More durable consumer goods purchased=strong economy.

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

Fast-moving consumer goods are the products we purchase often, are priced low, and sell quickly.  These are also considered packed consumer goods, but generally don’t spend much time on the shelf due to high demands by us consumers.  Perishable items also belong to this category. 

Fast-moving consumer goods include fruits and vegetables, paper products, milk, and over the counter medications like acetaminophen.  Some of these products are better to buy locally when possible because quality over shipment time can drop dramatically.  This includes dairy products, fruits and vegetables.  You deserve fresh!

Cheese and bread on a simplistic cutting board - Consumer Goods - Gone Minimal
Cheese and bread on a simplistic cutting board

What is the Consumer Goods Act?

The Consumer Goods Act, or consumer protection laws, were enacted to protect us as consumers.  According to Cornell Law School, these laws safeguard consumers from defective products, deceptive business practices, and misleading sales.  Because we act in good faith when we purchase products, we need protection in case something goes wrong with those products.  It also helps to keep the manufacturers honest when it comes to their business practices.  For example:

  1. You see a product advertised that claims it’s 100% natural, no preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  When you purchase the product, you find there are in fact unnatural ingredients and you experience an allergic reaction. 
  2. You purchase a new dishwasher for your home as an upgrade.  It’s installed correctly, however it starts falling apart and not working correctly within 6 months of purchase.
A man working at a desk with a gavel - Consumer Goods - Gone Minimal
A man working at a desk with a gavel

The Consumer Goods Act protects us in these types of scenarios, as well as many others, from harm as well as holding manufacturers accountable for their products.  There are several consumer protection laws under this act that cover things like warranties, collection of your credit information, and protection from scams. 

Unfortunately, a good deal on a product is not always a good thing-and it seems there are so many limitations on warranties!  That’s why it’s an excellent plan to do the research and talk to the experts before purchasing some items.  It’s sad to think that these acts have been created because manufacturers, companies, and sellers have taken advantage of consumers!

In this helpful video, learn about the most innovative consumer products of 2020, according to a smart shopping expert.

Related Insights

How do you classify the consumer goods?

Consumer goods can be classified into four basic categories.  These are convenience products (staples like toilet paper and impulses like the candy bar in the checkout line), shopping products (appliances, computers), specialty (niche products like designer handbags), and unsought (health and safety products like life insurance).

What are characteristics of shopping goods?

Characteristics of shopping goods or products include price, quality, and quality as compared to other same-type products.  Shopping goods are not bought as often as convenience goods, so we tend to spend more time considering these products.  Shopping goods include furniture, electronics, and travel options.

What are the 4 types of consumer goods?

The 4 types of consumer goods include convenience products, shopping products, specialty products, and unsought products.

Consumer Goods That Real People Purchase Most Frequently

I asked friends and family to list 3 things or products that they purchase most frequently.  Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll, and the percentages of their responses.

ProductTimes Selected
Frozen meals5%
Toilet paper10%
Paper towels5%
Dish soap5%
Shampoo and conditioner8%
Shower gel5%
Dog and cat food11%
The most frequently purchased consumer goods

Other Resources:

There’s a lot to be said for consumer goods-some of them we need and some of them we don’t.  Our lifestyles tend to be defined by some of the things we purchase, and we as consumers have the power to ensure we are doing our research and buying smart.  Always read the fine print, avoid buying on impulse, remember the cheapest is NOT always the best!

Similar Posts