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COVID-19 impact | Immunity boosters are here for the long haul: Kantar Report

According to a report released by Kantar, the growth in immunity-boosting products outpaced traditional items positioned in the health segment.

July 29, 2021 / 09:45 PM IST

The increased health consciousness amongst consumers on account of COVID-19, which has driven brands from across consumer segments to launch a plethora of immunity-booster products, is not a temporary trend and is here to stay, said a report released by Kantar on July 29.

The report indicated that even as the daily COVID-19 cases declined towards the end of 2020, the consumer continued to purchase immunity booster products such as chawanprash, honey, adult well, immunity tea etc.

According to data from the report, the purchase volumes for these products peaked in the October-December quarter in 2020, when cases had declined severely in most areas of the country, while the purchase volume for external health categories such as hand wash, hand sanitiser, floor cleaners peaked during the July-September quarter last year.

During the October-December quarter, 10,425 kilograms of immunity products were purchased by the consumers as compared to 7,132 kilograms in April-June quarter.

“If we look at purchase data, we realise that consumers have been buying these products despite the pandemic, before as well as even when cases have dropped,” said K Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, South Asia, Worldpanel Division at Kantar.

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“Even when scrutinised for a longer period, we saw this segment getting stronger and stronger,” he added.

As per the report, the immunity-boosting category grew at a 23 percent CAGR from 2018 to 2021, as compared to 14 percent CAGR witnessed by the traditional products positioned in the health category such as green tea, snacks, biscuits etc.

Kantar projects the immunity segment would grow by 18 percent in 2021 over 2020 on a MAT basis.

Immunity over health

According to the report, immunity booster products emerged as the fastest-growing segment within the overall health and hygiene space and grew at 38 percent (in volume) till May, 2021 on a moving annual total (MAT) basis. Traditional products positioned in the health and hygiene category such as healthy snacks, health biscuits, green tea, and health cereals grew 12 percent during the same period, the report said.

Within the immunity boosters category, the report indicated, chawanprash emerged as the fastest growing and reported volume growth of 132 percent till May 2021 on a moving annual total basis (MAT). Other products in the segment, honey and immunity tea, too, witnessed a strong year and registered a volume growth of 29 percent 35 percent, respectively, on a MAT basis.

External hygiene-related categories such as hand wash, hand sanitiser, floor cleaners witnessed 17 percent growth till May 2021 on a MAT basis. Kantar forecasts that the segment will grow by 18 percent on a MAT basis in 2021 over last year.

The contribution of the immunity category to the internal health space is also on a rise. While it had a 23 percent volume share till May 2020 on MAT basis, a year later, its share had jumped to 27 percent.

Other findings

The report shed light on several other consumer trends that emerged in the wake of the pandemic. The report revealed that the FMCG value growth outpaced volume growth (11 percent versus 8 percent) during the year as consumers moved from branded to unbranded products, cheaper to premium goods and due to the introduction of high-value categories like hand sanitisers or surface cleaners into the consumer purchase basket.

Furthermore, it also revealed that while the COVID-19 scare seems to be a catalyst for the consumption of hand wash and sanitiser categories, home hygiene has found a permanent footing. About 49 percent of consumers surveyed by Kantar indicated that they washed hands more during the second and 35 percent indicated that they used sanitisers more as the second wave struck the country. On the contrary, 60 percent of consumers said that there was no change in their purchase behaviour of home hygiene products despite the COVID-19 situation.
Devika Singh
first published: Jul 29, 2021 09:45 pm
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