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‘Health may emerge as basic need along with food, shelter in post-Covid world’: Nielsen

In the survey, most respondents said that they would gravitate towards familiar products in a post-COVID-19 world; about 66 per cent would hold on to money rather than going ahead with their plan to buy new items.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: May 23, 2020 2:25:31 am
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Global data analytics company Nielsen’s Indian arm Friday said that health could emerge as a basic need along with food, shelter, and clothing in a post-COVID-19 world, and that some consumer habits of the past such as “indulgence” may never come back.

“As time passes and restriction on living conditions in India eases out, some behaviours will not return to previous states or habits. Many behaviours are likely to be re-balanced as the new norm for consumers as their circumstances have been irrevocably impacted,” the company said.

The findings and predictions are a result of online surveys that Nielsen had undertaken across many cities in India in April. In the survey, most respondents said that they would gravitate towards familiar products in a post-COVID-19 world; about 66 per cent would hold on to money rather than going ahead with their plan to buy new items. Only 28 per cent of respondents, most of whom were planning to buy furniture and durables, are likely to go ahead with their investment as planned, the survey noted.

“As income levels are impacted, in general, the majority will adopt the ‘cut back and save’ mindset — cutting down on non-essential travel (holidays) and other discretionary spends. Governments would tend to bail out key industries and companies, and shall promote ‘buy local’ campaigns via subsidies and incentives,” Nielsen said. In its survey, the data analytics firm also noted that the sales of non-vegetarian food items were impacted as nearly more than 50 per cent of respondents said that they would avoid eating such food items as a “precautionary measure”.

The sales and consumption of private white label brands, which rushed in to fill the void created by supply chain issues of bigger brands, rose by as much as 5-6 percentage points during lockdown, compared to the December-January period, Nielsen said. The Indian Express had in April reported that the bigger FMCG manufacturers had been facing supply constraints as over 90 per cent of India’s trucks were then off the roads.

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