Vivek Gambhir the CEO and MD of Godrej consumer products said sometime back in an interview, “I think there will be a greater focus on health protection and hygiene and we are putting in efforts to make a stronger presence in those categories. We also see a greater amount of push on online sales; so, we are looking at our online strategy to see if we can accelerate that in a few areas.
There was never any doubt that the FMCG market was going to grow even during the Covid19 crisis. The global economy would take a beating but experts have always felt that amidst all this if there was one sector that would be able to weather the storm it would be the FMCG sector. They were insulated to a great extent even as other sales fell because the sale of what came to be known as essential goods remained unaffected during the lockdown period. Of course, the gateway to FMCG shopping continued to be ecommerce as large retailers also joined in swiftly. Indian consumers are said to be doing the maximum shopping for essentials online at 55% followed by China at 50%, Italy @31%, USA @23% and UK@18%.
With the focus now on health, hygiene and protection foremost in the minds of consumers, the demand for hand sanitizers and the fad for Ayurveda products growing, the new normal might be the sale of Ayurveda based hand washes, body washes, body lotions, hand creams, hand sanitizers, and other protective and beauty products. People’s faith in organic products – tulsi, neem, turmeric and other herbal products will grow and people will avoid chemical-based products. There will thus be a new industry altogether of Ayurveda based FMCG products. People will become more conscious of strengthening their immune system and hence they will lean towards herb-based, immunity-boosting products whether to eat or to use as cosmetics or as home products for cleaning.
Insecurity becomes ingrained in the hearts of the people and they want to now stock instant food like noodles, pasta and maybe even dried vegetables with a long shelf life. Along with this would also be a desire to eat healthily which would mean the same foods made of whole grains and a preference for chemical-free, pesticide-free food. Besides this local Indian manufacturers will be the gainers especially cottage industries manufacturing Ayurveda based products and personal protective gears.
We will also witness companies diversifying into new products that will sell and more popular post-Corona. A case in point is talcum powder Nycil starting to manufacture sanitizers because they have become a part of our daily lives. As Tarun Arora, CEO, Zydus Wellness, said, “This foray marks the first-ever extension for the over 50-year old talcum powder brand.”
It is also time for the use -fullest product and brands are also adding new scope to their already existing products by selling attractive combinations like a calorie tracker along with a fitness guide etc. It has always been the survival of the fittest and more so now which means brands need to be innovative in selling what people want most because post corona consumer behaviour will change.
Godrej consumer products have been quite wise in moving ahead and Vivek Gambhir the CEO and MD said sometime back in an interview,
“I think there will be a greater focus on health protection and hygiene and we are putting in efforts to make a stronger presence in those categories. We also see a greater amount of push on online sales; so, we are looking at our online strategy to see if we can accelerate that in a few areas. Overall, as a result of this crisis, there could be some shifts in for the larger organised players… we are already seeing some shift in ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of products, etc. So, the strategy to tide over the crisis is to ensure ready availability of products and then, as the situation improves, to figure out our bounce-back plan”
So post-COVID19, there will emerge a plethora of novel FMCG products that will take the world by storm. Men will become more health-conscious and money-conscious while new industries manufacturing more of natural and useful products will emerge. Life will not be all bad because a shimmer of hope will emerge in the form of new industries providing employment in this dark scenario. We just need to be wiser and a bit creative in order to still be able to sell profitably during and after the COVID-19 crisis. So jump into the fray and give back to the world innovative FMCG products that the world needs now and benefit from it too.