Sound the alarm, cancel all festivities, snub out that post-pandemic cigar. Omicron is here, and with it a stomach-churning plunge back into the throes of a pandemic not yet ready to spit us out.

With this latest incarnation of COVID-19 comes a new wave of anxiety, hesitancy and fiscal austerity. And what this means for world economies and people's pockets and spending choices is a very pertinent question for anyone supplying consumer goods.

The landscape is anything but simple.

A complex array of players, supply chains and possible outcomes brought a heavy cloud of uncertainty to boardroom strategies the world over during the last two years.