Concern around hygiene and health due to the COVID-19 pandemic drove consumption
Changing lifestyle habits amid the coronavirus pandemic is driving up grocery bills as people buy bigger stock, larger packets and eat more home-cooked meals.
During the lockdown period, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, in particular, are experiencing the shift in consumer buying patterns – as large packets of biscuits, pasta, snacks, antiseptics, hand-wash, flour and noodles sell faster, The Economic Times reported.
Devendra Chawla, CEO of Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket told the paper that bill size now has risen by 1.5 times compared to pre-coronavirus times.
Concern around hygiene and health due to the COVID-19 pandemic drove consumption. As per the report, average bill totals increased by 50 percent in March – when the lockdown began.
Not only FMCG products but groceries such as pulses, lentils and sugar are also being bought in bigger quantities. The main reason for this is simple – people are eating more home-cooked food. They are also looking to reduce shopping trips, thus buying more quantities when they do go out.
Tech start-up Snapbizz CEO Prem Kumar said the median bill shot up to Rs 1,000 in April first week, compared to Rs 650 in March first week, but has eased a little to Rs 900 now. The company analyses consumer data of over a million kirana stores.
Hemant Malik, divisional CEO of ITC Foods noted that consumers wanting to reduce store trips could be a contributing factor. The company has seen higher growth in larger pack sizes for noodles and biscuits. “It is also driven by shops having limited opening times,” he added.
Arvind Mediratta, managing director & CEO of Metro Cash & Carry India noted that individuals are buying packs meant for hotels or restaurants.
Beverage companies have also noticed the shift. Future Group told the paper that demand for large 1.25-litre and 2-litre cold-drink bottles, larger oil cans, and larger containers of ghee has also spiked.