If branded products (branded products) are among the fastest growing consumer goods in the post-Covid period,FMCG) got a leg-up as consumers chose to buy what they trusted, inflation clearly spoiled that party. Non-branded segments of categories like toilet and floor cleaners, coffee, edible oils and some milk products grew faster than their branded counterparts, reveals analytics firm Kantaro (see graphic).
For example, in toilet cleaners, the unbranded segment grew by 11% in the year ending April 2022, while the branded segment decreased by 13%. In floor cleaners, non-branded growth was 5% as against 3% contraction in branded. In coffee too, non-branded grew at a rate of 15%, while branded grew at a slower rate of 4%. Among edible oils, the non-branded segment grew by 4% as against branded growth of only 1%, while butter and cheese grew by 9%, while branded grew by 1%.
K Ramakrishnan, MD – South Asia, Worldpanel Division, Kantar, told TOI, “The thin line between branded and unbranded consumption is attractive. In times of uncertainty, consumers are drawn to known alternatives – which means branded. Hence, during the peak period of the pandemic, we saw a surge in branded components across multiple categories like edible oils, salt, biscuits, tea, etc. In the absence of a large and looming threat, it is usually a price game. There is no house that can be classified as purely branded or purely non-branded. Most families have a dual role and when they feel the pressure on their wallet their share goes unbranded. Inflation is one such. Even beyond inflation, the pricing of goods is cyclical and has an impact on consumer choice.”
A Hindustan Unilever (HUL) spokesperson said the long-term trend in toilet and floor cleaners is clearly shifting from non-branded to branded, and the company continues to gain stake in the long and short term. spokesman said that theirOur product portfolio spans the price benefit pyramid and thus caters to the needs of consumers who wish to upgrade to products with higher order benefits and are trying to manage their household budget in times of inflation.
With regard to the increase numbers for butter and paneer, RS Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets Amul, said, “It could be some loose butter used to make ghee at home. . As such, in butter, we are the main player and we have had double digit growth in our volumes over the same period. ,
In the past few years, the trend of consumers converting non-branded products to branded products for categories like edible oil, flour, and butter and cheese was clearly visible. According to Kantar, the share of the non-branded segment of edible oils declined from 29% in the February-March-April period of 2019 to 25% in the same months last year. However, this year it rose to 26% in those three months. Similarly, in butter and cheese in the same three months, where the share of the non-branded segment declined from 16% in 2019 to 7% in 2021, it has increased by two percentage points to 9% this year. However, experts said that the movement is yet to deepen as by April the consumers started exiting and at the same time, the high impact of inflation started hurting their wallets. Kantar said the average price of FMCG per kg has increased by 10% over the last year. Noting that this is a peculiar inflation, Kantar said that it has characteristics that are different to those of the previous inflationary period.
To protect price points, FMCG manufacturers resort to ‘shrinkage’ – a process where companies reduce the grammar while maintaining the price of the product package.