“This program, along with the pricing and funding the growth, should allow us to exit this inflationary cycle with more levers to drive growth and profitability and keep our strategy on track,” said Wallace.
Colgate-Palmolive reported a net sales increase of 2% and organic sales increase of 3% for the fourth quarter. Full-year 2021 net sales grew 6% while organic sales grew 4.5%.
Its flourishing Hill’s Pet Nutrition business had yet another strong quarter, recording 12% net sales growth and 13% organic sales growth. Both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce drove sales in the U.S., and the company expects another strong year for the pet business as it scales digital learnings throughout the organization.
And as the No. 37 consumer goods company readies for yet another unpredictable year, Wallace pointed to the progress they’ve made in their digital transformation.
“We’ve seen a lot of great progress as we’ve restructured our innovation groups around the world towards breakthrough and transformational innovation and the benefits we’re seeing coming out of that,” he said, “and we decided we really wanted to accelerate that transformation and make sure that we get that savings into the business as quickly as possible — as well as the benefits of how we structure ourselves to be more agile and faster to market, the benefits we get out of increased resources in the digital space, as well as the innovation.”
Colgate-Palmolive’s transition to a new innovation strategy is also directly impacting growth in oral care and pet nutrition, as well as its China e-commerce rebound.
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Looking ahead, the company is investing in brand building, including increasing advertising spend across oral care, pet nutrition, skin health, and other categories to maintain volume growth while raising prices.
It’s also investing in incremental capacity for growth: “Our need to build capacity across the business, mostly in pet nutrition, shows that the rebound in organic sales growth is real and one we expect to continue,” he noted.
Colgate-Palmolive is also preparing to launch a predictive tool in U.S. dental clinics that leverages 3D scanner technology to display personalized results for consumers in support of its Colgate Optic White Professional teeth-whitening product.
As part of this, dentists have access to the software through a new 3Shape Unite digital dentistry in-clinic app, where they can provide patients with scans showing a simulation of the predicted treatment outcome, including interactive before-and-after photos.