Hershey, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark & More: CPG Investments In 2023

Lisa Johnston
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It’s earnings season, which means consumer goods companies are taking to their conference mics to share details about upcoming investments. Rounded up here is a snapshot from some of the largest companies in the industry. 

The Hershey Company

Among the company's investments this year include increased spending in media and entry into white spaces, including gummies, better-for-you, and salty brands.    

“We believe in advertising. We've seen the impact and the returns that we get on advertising in terms of having very strong ROI. So we take a very data-based approach to media spending, and we invest where we see that incremental profitable growth. Over time, we do know that advertising builds consumer connectivity, and we know [that consumer connectivity is] part of what helps us to have the elasticities that we do.” — Michele Buck, CEO


The company remains bullish on the long-term potential of the Hill’s Pet Nutrition pet food and care business, including its impact across the enterprise. As part of this, Colgate-Palmolive will continue to accelerate investments in Hill’s, with capacity supported by last year’s purchase of three Red Collar Pet Foods manufacturing plants. 

“We think that Hill’s is one of the best growth engines we have.” — Noel Wallace, president/CEO


Kimberly-Clary is another consumer goods manufacturer planning to increase its media spend after pulling back in order to manage supply chain challenges. But it was CEO Mike Hsu's comments on poop (really) that garnered the most headlines. 

“I think I cannot share exactly what that news is because it’s coming out in the second half. But it will blow your mind when you see it. And it has to do with — not to say this on an earnings call — but the poop side of things, and so that’s kind of the business we’re in. And so we’ll do miraculous things with poop.” — Mike Hsu, CEO

Editor’s note: We wonder if this has to do with the image-recognition technology Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies brand piloted in Australia last year. According to details shared with CGT by chief growth officer Allison Lewis during an interview in November, the technology enables parents to upload a picture of their baby’s diaper on a website to learn whether its contents are normal or worrisome. 

a close up of a bottle on the counter

Estee Lauder Companies 

In addition to increasing investments in media and entering new regions, the company is investing within its product innovation as its crucial travel retail sector continues to recover.  

It's will have a new factory operational in Asia that's expected to shorten time to market, said Tracey Travis, EVP and CFO, while a new innovation center will further contribute to future product development. 

Levi Strauss & Co.

The apparel manufacturer is not only bringing a new ERP online in the United States to support its direct-to-consumer business, but it also plans to grow its retail store fleet by up to 80 net doors. 

“Early results are very encouraging with most of them exceeding revenue and profitability expectations since their opening.” — Chip Bergh, president/CEO, on the 11 new stores opened in the U.S. in Q4

Mondelez International 

The snack and confectionary company will expand efforts to increase sustainable sourcing of its two key ingredients: cocoa and wheat. 

As part of this, it will launch in the first quarter an updated vision for its Harmony Wheat program that's focused on more sustainably sourcing wheat across the European Union. 


The consumer electronics company set a quarterly revenue record in India, which CEO Tim Cook cited as a “hugely exciting market,” and shared plans to open Apple retail in the region. 

“We are, in essence, taking what we learned in China years ago and how we scale to China and bringing that to bear.” — Tim Cook, CEO 


The coffee company is bringing NFTs into its loyalty program as part of an initiative to create an accessible Web3 community. 

In beta, members of the Odyssey program are invited to partake in multiple journeys, driving increased engagement and loyalty from members "and now ownership in their loyalty experience," said Brady Brewer, EVP and chief marketing officer.