‘Consumers are at home’ is a ‘black swan’ event. It came unexpectedly and will go just as unexpectedly. At least, we can hope so. Comfort and convenience food are doing the rounds to get across the point that ‘consumers are at home’. This outlier period in recent consumer history has created unanticipated demand and opportunities in the food industry. Some segment more so than others. Have we also started asking what will the brands do when consumers are not at home any more ?
The good news is that the market size for food as a sector has already expanded. Household budget has irrevocably shifted. Even if we are all back to ‘the normal’, the average spend by consumer on comfort, packaged food will still be high. And I would argue for non-packaged segment too. This will also helped by the food brands which will keep the aggregate spending on promotion high.
How have we done so far ?
The food trend in India. We can all agree that the food industry (in whole) didn’t have a muted 2020 at all.
1. Is your product habit forming ? We are creature of habit. Brands or products which have created the pull and got the consumer attention more than once, will be rewarded.
Now the food brands have to ask— is my consumer regularly eating my product or its one of testing & trial. If its one of trial and they are not coming back for more, then you might have a wrinkle in your offering.
2. Consumers have more brands to choose now than ever before — Plethora of new products have been launched in last 2–4 months in almost all the segment and more are being planned in next the few months with new flavors, varieties and fresh packaging. Not to mention the brands from startups, few are well funded and most importantly, highly motivated to succeed. They also appear very nimble to spot and act on insights.
3. The other dimension is the household budget — For new food brands, you couldn’t find a better window to launch and establish your brand.
4. New product launches, new varieties, new brands are competing for the stretched real estate in the store, both small and large. In the coming months, this will be challenge for all the brands which will be also compete over limited floor space, and might need to make it lucrative for the stores to carry its product.
5. Online offers the way out. The unlimited space for unlimited product ranges. This has its own challenges. You not only compete on your segment but across products categories with constant stream of ads trying to lure them away.
6. You have to deal with store’s in-house brands. The large super stores know more about consumer visiting their stores than you do.This could be the biggest challenge for brands in coming years.
Data source : Google