2020 has been an extraordinary year. The pandemic with its socio-economic and psychological implications not only deeply impacted our lives but also drew our attention towards health. Eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle became a priority for everyone. Suddenly people started realizing the importance of wellness and building immunity. For Gaia, a leading health and wellness brand, 2020 has been a year of growth, progress, and learnings.
Despite the COVID-induced disruptions, the brand has fared well. Overall online sales have increased 2x since last year, while customer acquisitions in e-commerce saw a 60 percent surge. The average recovery growth has been 10-20 percent as compared to the last financial year. With the health and wellness industry booming, the brand has registered a 20 percent growth since last year. It includes sales in General Trade, Modern Trade, and e-commerce/online sales, with the latter seeing a 50 percent growth, specifically.
It is worth noting that the upended routines and teleworking culture called for a nutritious diet to deal with the stress. Owing to this, breakfast cereals such as Muesli and Oats were high on-demand online. Green tea, Olive Oil, a range of seeds, A2 Cow Ghee, and nutritional supplements were popular categories in both general as well as modern trade. Health food substitutes also saw greater traction.
The pandemic also came as a lesson for many brands, and Gaia was no different. It showed how agility and adaptability in terms of technology are indispensable going forward. The digital medium helped the brand sail through choppy waters. Logistics and warehouse management were some of the biggest challenges in the initial two months of the lockdown, which resulted in sluggish offline sales. However, the brand’s sales force turned it into an opportunity, launching a 48-hour doorstep delivery program pan India to tide over the disruptions.
Ending the year on a high note, Gaia is rolling out its eCommerce website by May 2021. It is expected to further increase the reach of the brand 4x in Tier-1 cities. Moreover, placing Free Standing Units to showcase Gaia’s complete range in over 200+ outlets across India will catalyse the brand visibility and loyalty in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
Speaking on the journey in 2020, Dolly Kumar, Founder & Director at Cosmic Nutracos Solutions Pvt. Ltd., the parent company to Gaia, said, “The year saw many ups and downs, but the continuous attention over health and nutrition comes as a blessing in disguise for all of us. Overall, the pandemic has taught us to prioritize and recover from the falls. As much as it is imperative to adjust your business tactics to keep going, everything except health can take a back seat. The positive growth underpins that people are now taking health seriously making small changes in their dietary habits.”
In a strategic move reinforcing its commitment to Madhya Pradesh's economic landscape, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), a prominent FMCG player in India, has disclosed a Rs 350 crore investment in the state. This announcement, made during a meeting between the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Mohan Yadav, and a senior HCCB delegation, propels the company's cumulative investment in the state to over Rs 660 crore.
The capital injection will fuel the establishment of two cutting-edge manufacturing lines at HCCB's Rajgarh factory, dedicated to producing Affordable Small Sparkling Packs (ASSP) and Juice Tetra Packs. Beyond expanding manufacturing capabilities, this move is poised to make a substantial contribution to the state's economy. With a robust network of 149 distributors and 127,080 retailers, HCCB plays a pivotal role in Madhya Pradesh's retail sector, distributing approximately 10 million cases across 29 districts.
In reciprocation, the Madhya Pradesh Government has committed comprehensive support to expedite HCCB's procurement of necessary permissions, approvals, and clearances, aligning with the state's policies and regulations.
Himanshu Priyadarshi, Chief Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability Officer at HCCB, stated, “This investment is a significant step in our journey with Madhya Pradesh - a state that is poised for growth and development. We see this as an opportunity to deepen our commitment and align our growth with the state’s vision. This is more than an expansion of our business operations; it is about reinforcing our roots in a state that is key to our market strategy and a hub for innovation. We envisage this project as a catalyst not only for regional economic growth but also as a conduit for nurturing local talent, thereby contributing to the socio-economic progress of Madhya Pradesh.”
Having invested over Rs 311 crore in Madhya Pradesh since 2000, including recent expansions in 2022 and 2023, HCCB has consistently demonstrated its commitment to enhancing production capabilities and supporting the local economy. This latest financial commitment not only cements its industrial presence in the state but also aligns with HCCB's dedication to delivering innovative and high-quality products to consumers in Madhya Pradesh.
HCCB's engagement in Madhya Pradesh transcends business investments, extending to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These projects focus on water rejuvenation, skill development, and sustainable agriculture. Notably, the initiatives have impacted 1200 youths in sales and marketing training, 1500 women in digital and financial literacy, and over 100 farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, HCCB has facilitated the installation of water ATMs and Smartboards, contributing to community resources.
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