NEW DELHI: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced consumer demand, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has launched a total of 1,897 in the health and hygiene segment during the March-August 2020 period.
This translates to an over 18-fold jump when compared to the preceding six months, according to market research insights firm Nielsen.
As the saying goes, ‘never let a crisis go to waste’, the FMCG companies have done exactly that during the early cycle of the pandemic world. The companies have launched products ranging from sanitisers and liquid toilet soaps to immunity boosters seeking to compensate for the sharp fall in the beauty and skin-care segment.
Before the pandemic, between September 2019 to February 2020, however, only 102 products were introduced in this segment.
“Focussed innovation is a trend in sight. We have seen a significant number of players entering the health and hygiene segment. The evolving consumer needs are resonating with corporate leaders, who are crafting strategic actions viz. increased engagement and investments on expanding digital footprint, reprioritisation of capacity to rationalise product mix, and review communication strategy to convey safety/ health/ hygiene benefits,” said Sameer Shukla, executive director, retail intelligence, South Asia, Nielsen Global Connect.
Similarly, companies are also sharpening their focus on innovation in the in-home consumption basket with a visible sign of consumers either downgrading to more affordable (mass and popular) offerings or shifting towards value for money large packs. This was visible in various categories like blended spices, noodles, packaged tea, among others.
According to a Nielsen survey, nearly 36 per cent of the FMCG CXOs said they are increasing focus on mass priced product offerings, while 43 per cent said they are stepping up focus on larger packs.
In the next six months, the majority of CXOs surveyed also said they are increasingly focusing on middle India and rural markets.
Middle India refers to towns with up to 10 lakh population. Steady adoption of e-commerce channels has also shown resilience against the tough times, Nielsen added.
Over the next four months of the calendar 2020, which incidentally coincides with the festive months, the industry is hopeful to see a big release of the pent-up demand in categories such as fashion and home appliances in lieu of safety and personal home convenience.