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Positive Push Across Impulse Category

The impulse category was a bit more impacted than other categories but brands now are milking the benefits of festive boost, says Ramakrishnan

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The second wave of Covid in April-May was brutal and significantly impacted business across sectors. However, the last few months have seen the Covid situation improve and stabilise in most parts of India. There is a general sense of optimism, and consumers have started going back to their normal consumption behaviour and, as a result, most of the businesses have started picking up. This has been due to a combination of the residual pent-up demand as well as the demand for the upcoming festive season. Consumers seem keen to make up for lost time and opportunity. The recovery is being seen across the FMCG industry -- from home care to personal care to impulse categories. In fact, there is some revival being seen in travel, hospitality and high involvement categories like auto and durables as well. Most of the brands have resumed spending on their campaigns to enhance their sales during the festive season. This should augur well for shoppers who are likely to be besieged with a slew of new offerings, along with multiple deals and offers.

GROWING AGAIN

The impulse category was a bit more impacted than other categories, due to the drop in footfalls in the streets. However, we are now seeing positive momentum across the impulse categories, including the confectionery category. All our key brands like Center fruit, Center fresh, Alpenliebe, Chupa Chups are growing well and almost back to pre-pandemic levels. The fundamental pillars of growth for our brands don't change -- launch of innovative consumer relevant products, support with insightful communication, distribution extensively across the country.

We are tapping into the festive season through a combination of innovative products, occasion-led packs and relevant engagement programmes. Some examples are  Chupa Chups Mixup lollipop with two colours and two flavours with the added benefit of vitamin C and fruit juice, Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly Dessert recipe engagement initiative with key influencers, special limited edition Halloween packs and so on.

CONSUMER TRENDS

There are quite a few consumer trends that have emerged during the pandemic and these are likely to continue in the coming months as well. These are around in-home stocking and consumption, consumers looking for enhanced value propositions, increased focus on health and wellness, consumers spending more time on digital media and a higher incidence of buying online. Brands and businesses would do well to leverage these trends while staying true to their core positioning. To do this, they must address articulated and unarticulated consumer needs through relevant and insight-based product propositions, backed by impactful communication and supported with an extensive distribution. More and more brands are shifting some of their spending from traditional media to digital media. There is also a heightened focus across categories towards online sales, which is likely to grow exponentially in the coming months especially in nascent categories like confectioneries.  

All of these will result in brands offering more choices to the consumer which will ultimately further drive consumption. No one can predict if and when the third wave will come. But in the meantime, while the going is good, brands are looking to capitalise on the positive sentiment during this festive season to boost sales.    

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Rajesh Ramakrishnan

The author is Managing Director, Perfetti Van Melle, India

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