Growth in ‘doo­d­hwala’ cat­e­gories will lead to the rise of sub­scrip­tion com­pa­nies

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Expert Speak -

There are quite a few trends and de­vel­op­ments in our re­tail en­vi­ron­ment that have im­pli­ca­tions for shap­ing key prod­uct cat­e­gories. Take, for in­stance, the shift in the de­ci­sion mak­ing process in house­holds to­day. From Gen-x to Mil­len­nial par­ents, they are all now be­ing in­flu­enced by chil­dren in the house­hold. So, first we need to un­der­stand the new con­sumer.

To­day, con­sumers are more con­nected and they are mak­ing choices that are con­science-led. They are read­ing prod­uct re­views and want to un­der­stand the prod­uct. Con­sumers are also now look­ing for in­gre­di­ents in a prod­uct and they are check­ing the nu­tri­tion claims be­fore pur­chas­ing. With the aware­ness lev­els ris­ing and pa­tience level de­creas­ing, we are be­com­ing more of In­stapop­u­la­tion as con­sumers seek­ing in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion.

Con­sumers also don’t want to spend time do­ing mun­dane things. Hence, we are see­ing a rise in ‘doo­d­hwala’ cat­e­gories. Do you re­mem­ber when was the last time you changed your milk brand or even the per­son who de­liv­ers you milk? Un­less you are un­happy with the ser­vice, 90% of time you won’t be­cause ‘doo­d­hwala’ prod­uct cat­e­gories are 100% need-based and con­sumers to­day have out­sourced the pro­vi­sion of such prod­ucts 100%. We think about them only when we have to stop the ser­vice or when we don’t find the prod­uct out­side the door.

Look­ing into the fu­ture, we will see a lot of cat­e­gories be­come ‘doo­d­hwala’ cat­e­gories, which will lead to the rise of sub­scrip­tion com­pa­nies. More and more prod­ucts will move to the ‘doo­d­hwala’ cat­e­gory and this trend will largely im­pact cat­e­gories such as Fresh, Dairy, Bak­ery & Eggs.

With mun­dane gro­cery chores get­ting out­sourced and con­sumers be­com­ing more con­nected, the de­mand for new niche prod­ucts will grow. Th­ese new de­mands will ride on the back of emerg­ing trends and the vi­ral­ity fac­tor. Just look at how gluten-free, or­ganic and nat­u­ral are grow­ing in food, paraben­free in per­sonal care and how ‘free from’ is trend­ing! Con­sumers are opt­ing for health­ier prod­ucts and also for foods that help them be­come beau­ti­ful. That ex­plains the rise in the pop­u­lar­ity of the ‘Food for Beauty’ cat­e­gory. This is ev­i­dent from the sales jump in ap­ple cider vine­gar, avo­cado, salmon, etc.

What I per­son­ally be­lieve in is that “Food is New Fash­ion” and de­mands con­stant change and new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment. This trend is help­ing new, smaller brands and food star­tups be­cause they are agile, al­ways con­nected, and fast in in­no­va­tion. Gone are the days where large FMCG com­pa­nies could spend a cou­ple of years to just launch a few ex­tra vari­ants or new prod­uct lines. In­stapop is con­nected with brands through var­i­ous on­line medi­ums. They want brands to hear them and cre­ate prod­ucts that best suit them. This has cre­ated a lot of niche cat­e­gories and prod­ucts trend­ing in the de­vel­oped world now be­gin trend­ing in In­dia within a few days. As geo­graphic bor­ders get blurred, new cat­e­gories and new indige­nous brands will get cre­ated or killed just by vi­ral videos or on­line posts.

Go­ing ahead, In­stapop will de­mand more per­son­al­ized en­gage­ment with brands and re­tail­ers.

Con­sumers will look out for re­tail­ers that pro­vide value in dif­fer­ent forms and not just on price. The ser­vice level that cus­tomers ex­pect in high-end or lux­ury re­tail shops will be­come the new norm for your reg­u­lar for­mat store. We will see a lot of new for­mats evolve where you don’t even in­ter­act with hu­mans at all. — Vishal Das Na­tional Group Cat­e­gory Head, Big­bas­ket.com

Prices will be­come more trans­par­ent but that won’t be the only hook for get­ting loyal con­sumers.

Con­sumers will look out for re­tail­ers that pro­vide value in dif­fer­ent forms and not just on price. The ser­vice level that cus­tomers ex­pect in high-end or lux­ury re­tail shops will be­come the new norm for your reg­u­lar for­mat store. In the end, what will mat­ter is how rel­e­vant a for­mat is for his/her en­gage­ment and at what all touch­points it is con­nected to con­sumers. The way I look at the fu­ture of re­tail is a more con­nected ecosys­tem that is plugged into the as­pi­ra­tions of con­sumers. As the world gets in­creas­ingly dig­i­tal­ized and in­ter­con­nected, con­sumers are tak­ing to the dig­i­tal medium with greater fer­vor and they are de­mand­ing that brands have their pres­ence on the dig­i­tal plat­form and they want it NOW.

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