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