Recent global research by IBM/ National Retail Federation indicated that one in ten consumers categorize ‘brand’ as a major factor in their purchasing decisions. These consumers typically have a higher average income and are well traveled, aspirational, well read, and fairly sophisticated. So, they are willing to pay a premium for assortments that fit their lifestyle. The highest concentration of them globally was found to be in India (along with the Middle East and Latin America).
The forces shaping the Indian consumer are 4A’s: Affluence, Awareness, Attitude, and Access impact behavior. This means that the upwardly mobile Indian consumer seeks quality, choice, and product mix similar to their global counterpart. Awareness and Access have traditionally been a bottleneck in experiencing international brands. However, with the exponential adoption of digital channels, both awareness and access has been growing. And global brand offerings that take culture and local tastes into consideration clearly have an advantage.
This is true for branded international quality kitchenware category.
The Kitchen as the New ‘Theatre’ Setting and Rise of Cooking at Home
In the past two years, families have been gathering around the table, and experimentation in the kitchen has also been high. Consumers consciously attempt to create a mood and vibe in their kitchen and dining spaces-re-create the restaurant environment right at home - especially when it comes to desserts, baking, and drinks. This will be a big driver for stylized designs and premium finishes in tableware and experimentations with newer patterns, prints, and colors. Kitchen products that are high on style, yet efficient, high performance, and incredibly functional for everyday use will remain the top picks for the consumer. More food prep tools will be preferred as they offer ease of use and cut down on routine tasks.
The Evolution of the Conscious Consumer
Even with the ebbing of the COVID-19 scare, cooking and eating healthy is a key trend that is here to stay with consumers who have become more conscious of the ingredients and foods they consume. There is also a willingness to prioritize health over other benefits such as convenience. They look at food and thereby their kitchen ecosystem to nourish their bodies while being a foundation to their sustainable lifestyles. There is an emphasis on being green in essence, sustainable and responsible.
This mindful eating has led to the need for high-quality, nutritious food ingredients along with sustainable tableware, gentle on the environment. Denby tableware is a great example of products that are eco-friendly. Consumers are looking for sustainable options not just in food and dining but also in kitchen storage. Kilner’s sustainable storage lines are expected to cater to just that.
A Tech-Vantage Playing Out in Kitchens
The new-age kitchens will certainly see a larger presence of IoT. There is going to be a larger preference for appliances that are high-tech for the urban consumer. With busy schedules and multiple commitments, consumers would love to have the option to control the oven temperature while out on a walk or be able to use an app to see the inside of the refrigerator while on a grocery run.
With consumer shopping behavior rapidly shifting to online channels and increasing competition within categories, marketers are deploying a mix of marketing tools to attract new consumers, and demographics and provide a seamless user experience on their platforms.
Customer-Centric Content Marketing
In addition to cooking picking up, the pandemic has also driven people to become more health-conscious and this inclination to adapt to a healthier way of living has also led to critical lifestyle changes. And hence as part of our content strategy, our focus is on edu-awareness equipping consumers with relevant knowledge to understand the science and ergonomics behind the purchase of cookware. For example, Stainless Steel cookware and serve ware are widely used in Indian kitchens. However, not many consumers may be aware that all stainless steel is of food-grade quality.
Pre-Purchase and Post-Purchase Experience
Finally, to keep customers happy, customer service needs to be unparalleled. Having dedicated and trained customer service teams and product advisors is a good idea. Addressing customer feedback and complaints and handling, and solving their problems goes a long way in turning a one-time customer into a loyal one.