Call it "product cuts" or "SKU rationalization" — it's all about trimming the fat.
The practice came into view for many CPG supply chains during the pandemic, as consumer demand created a clear hierarchy of SKUs.
Mondelez pledged a 25% SKU cut to ensure "key SKUs are on the shelf," CEO Dirk Van de Put said in July. Coca-Cola cut entire product lines to "ruthlessly prioritize core brands," CEO James Quincey said that same month.
Other firms looked beyond their direct operations to reduce complexity by keeping only their most critical suppliers on board.
Read the stories below to learn how CPG companies thinned down to fewer SKUs and vendors in pursuit of a common goal: simplicity.