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Consumer Defensive Firms: Tightening the Belt

Laura Lallos

Consumer defensive companies are facing increasing competition from hard discounters and e-commerce, as underscored by the recent entry of  Amazon (AMZN) into grocery retailing. Amid weak growth, many of these firms are laser-focused on efficiency. With top-line trends still languishing, management teams are also pursuing sweeping changes. To learn more about the challenges and opportunities in the sector, I spoke with Morningstar’s Philip Gorham, who covers a number of the global players as director of equity research, Japan. Our conversation took place on Nov. 21 and has been edited for length and clarity. 

Philip Gorham, CFA, FRM, is director of equity research, Japan.

Laura Lallos does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.