Millennial, between the age group of 18 and 35 years of age is becoming the driver force in consumer markets and redefining India’s consumption story. To remain relevant to millennial audience for long time is challenging to any consumer brand. Speaking on same, Sanjay Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, MTR Foods Private Limited, said, “Yes it is a challenge for all of us. However, it is not the new challenge for us. I believe brands as a living entity and they have to continuously reinvent themselves as per the consumers and environment around then. The current undergoing change talks about ‘converging millennials’ is unique in nature as you cannot drive product inspiration from Western World thinking you have seen it out there therefore, you can embed exactly into India.”
Sharma speaking at the sidelines of FICCI Massmerize 2018 recently concluded in the capital city New Delhi.
Going further Sharma adds that unlike to Western economy and population demographics which is more inclined towards aging population India has large share of young consumers. “The future is going towards, incrementally large number of young people coming in and changing the norm of the consumption as far as the Indian market is concerned. Thus, consumer brands have to change themselves far far more rapidly in order to constantly appeal younger audience. “
Changing trends shaping the future of consumer products
1-‘Convenience’ the new magic word
According to Sharma when it comes to food, millennial population is less competent as their earlier generation used to be. Also, they want to spend less time in kitchen. Thus, it offers an unique opportunity to food marketers to reap the benefits.
“Being operation 28 years in food industry, I always been craving for consumers say to I want convenience. So far, convenience was the bad word for the food industry. This emerging trend of convenience products is going to redefining trend how food is going to consumed in the time to come,” said Sharma.
2-Adherence to value system
Historically, brands used to be aspirational in nature. Earlier, it was pre conceived notion that consuming certain brands reflect the personality of the consumers. As per Sanjay, now, it is incrementally becoming other way around, now millennials are more into value system. “They are more into saying this is my value system, does your brand hold the same value. Relating to brand is paramount factor to younger people,” he said.
People today are far more aware about environmental effect, in the past was more theoretical in nature, thus, it did not impact us. Younger generation is concerned about the pollution, water problem and other environment issues. They are more aware about the consequences and want to live responsibly. Therefore, they want to be associated with the brands which demonstrate responsibility to sustainability.
“We are trying to recognize all these challenges and addressing younger generation. When it come to product offering the biggest challenge for any food company is, either you start making new products or make exiting portfolio more relevant to younger generation. That is the choice and the activity that the brand owner has to decide.”
Reinventing product shelve to tap Zen Z
Citing the product innovation within MTR informed that MTR is into south Indian breakfast category since a very long time. Now, the company has introduced 3 minutes range which is catered to the needs of the millennials.
In another example he said, “Earlier we used to have gulab jamun mixes which were catered to mothers and grandmothers. But, today we have readymade gulab jamuns in individual cups comprising two pieces. So, now you don’t have to necessarily buy large packs.”
The Future ahead
Apart from products, the tools of communications are also changing. Speaking on same Sharma informed,” Apart from written instruction on the pack, we do create videos as which can be excessed from our Youtube channel. It is just not about products it is about experience how you connect with them.”
Going further he adds that MTR is working towards creating Amazon Alexa friendly recipes because this where future lies. “This is idea which is going to populate. You may not get personalized products buy you need to personalize the experience,” he said.