Translate to...

Taste beats health in lockdown: Survey

Mumbai: Indian consumers rejected healthy food in favour of indulgent ones in an effort to make the dull and stressful lockdown environment more enjoyable.According to the latest data by Kantar between March 20 and June 21, the convenience food and snacking market saw an unprecedented surge — noodles for instance grew 36%, sauces and ketchups by 22%, butter and cheese up 40% while soups expanded 49% and breakfast cereals grew 23%. And pasta sales rose 250%. Biscuits and salty snacks - two of India's biggest consumer segments - also saw high growth at 48% and 26% each. At the same time, healthy variants of these two categories either declined or grew at a significantly slower pace, indicating that shoppers preferred taste over health.“It is growing purely on the back of increased buying from existing buyers. Companies also pushed more fast selling and popular products, and as a result health variants took a back-seat,” said K Ramakrishnan, South Asia managing director of consulting firm Kantar adding that the overall consumption grew 10% during the period.So is taste taking precedence over health at a time when there is heightened consumer awareness due to Covid-19 fear. Not really. Experts feel this clearly indicated people are balancing between pharma-led products such as multi-vitamins for health while still splurging for indulgence within convenience food categories.76904627"Snacking of indulgent products helps compensate for eating out restrictions and brings small joys to life. It clearly indicates that consumers would rather opt for immunity boosting products for immunity building and go for tastes when it comes to snacking or ready to cook categories which are not really a serious health category," said said Devendra Chawla, managing director at Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket chains.Data confirm the theory — sales of immunity and nutritional products increased - adult wellness drinks and malted beverages grew 87% while Chyawanprash rose 66%, according to Kantar, a consumer research firm owned by advertising giant WPP."With restaurants shut for dine-in and ordering-in being at an all-time low, in-home ‘cook n dine’ is continuing to surge. Consumers wish to experiment with dishes that are easy to make," said Oliver Mirza, managing director - Indian Subcontinent - Dr Oetker .