The dual impact of the pandemic and soaring inflation fuelling the cost of living has led Indian consumers to pay closer attention to their spending. Indians are seeking ways to save money on food and drink and are rethinking the importance of beauty products.
The latest whitepaper from Mintel reveals the changes in consumer behaviors are evident as 42 percent of Indians state that they tend to stick to a budget as much as possible while shopping.
While the pandemic remains one of the primary concerns among 46 percent of Indians, supply chain disruptions caused by the conflict in Eastern Europe also weigh heavily on consumer spending as prices of basic commodities increase.
“In the face of financial and health-related uncertainty, consumers feel vulnerable and want brands to give them greater decision-making control by being more authentic and transparent. Customer loyalty and trust are being put to the test as 36 percent of Indian grocery shoppers have switched to lower-priced alternatives while another 34 percent plan to switch from their usual brands to save money,” said Saptarshi Banerjee, Senior Lifestyle Research Analyst, Mintel Reports India.
Indian consumers take extra steps to find the best deals when it comes to beauty shopping. Over one-third (38 percent) of Indians compare prices at different retailers, while, discounts or promotions (53 percent) and free samples (39 percent) are key drivers for consumers to shop for beauty products online.
In addition to price increases, consumers are looking for brands to be transparent in ingredient sourcing and supply chain practices. In the beauty space, 34 percent of Indian consumers believe that beauty brands must be honest about their business practices. 53 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a clean beauty product that is proven safe.
This transparency in labeling extends to consumers’ food and drink purchases as well. Natural, as well as ethical or environmental, claims in food and drink products saw an average growth of 35 percent and 24 percent, respectively, over a five-year period from July 2017 to June 2022, according to Mintel Global New Products Database.
With increasing consumer engagement in sustainability practices, the environmental impacts of food and beauty packaging are coming into the limelight. Nearly half, constituting 43 percent of consumers strongly feel that packaging waste needs to be reduced urgently, while 34 percent agree that it is hard to tell which products have the most environmental packaging. Another 36 percent of Indians think that there is very little information available on how to reduce packaging waste.
“Sustainability is closely linked to packaging and brands can create initiatives for consumers to actively participate in, and contribute towards, sustainability practices. Our research shows that given the choice of similar food products, 44 percent of consumers will opt for the one that is labeled as environmentally friendly,” said Saptarshi Banerjee
He further concluded, “We are seeing a similar trend among Indian beauty shoppers. For a beauty brand/product to be considered sustainable, eco-friendly packaging is necessary for 29 percent of consumers, while 27 percent believe that a beauty brand is sustainable if it has recycling programs and does not have ingredients that cause pollution. Packaging can provide a route to transparent information and, at the same time, enable consumers to feel confident in their responsible packaging choices.”