Hygiene products top shopping list

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 26, 2020

Most sought-after The hand-sanitis er segment witnessed a 144 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis   -  Mitesh Bhuvad

Hand-sanitisers, masks, soaps recorded over 100% growth in sales, says Nielsen study

What are people buying during the coronavirus lockdown? A Nielsen India study showed that while hygiene products such as hand sanitisers, masks and soaps have recorded over 100 per cent growth in sales, other items such as cough syrup, salty snacks and cooking oil are also seeing a massive spike. The gain is mostly on online platforms. This is good news for e-commerce players and FMCG companies but bad news for offline retailers.

Nielsen did an online survey across 15 large Indian metropolitan cities between March 17 and March 19 covering 898 respondents.

Data revealed that, as of February, around 90 per cent of the citizens were aware of prescribed behaviour, such as social distancing, washing hands. However, more than 40 per cent of people in the metros accepted they were not abiding by the guidance. The trend saw an uptick in March.

Between November, December and January, the FMCG saw a decline at 6 per cent, 5 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. However, in February, the FMCG segment saw a growth of 8 per cent growth. Similarly, the food segment, which had declined from an 8 per cent growth in November and December to 7 per cent in January, grew 10 per cent growth in February.

Nielsen’s data signified high growth for health and hygiene product baskets both in the traditional and e-commerce channels. Nielsen reviewed the growth of certain segments in the traditional trade channel. The survey was conducted to review the timeframe between mid-February and mid-March. The hand sanitiser segment witnessed a 144 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis. Liquid soaps recorded a 42 per cent growth and antiseptic liquids a 36 per cent growth. Similarly, the pulses and atta segment in the traditional trade witnessed a 72 per cent and 25 per cent growth.

Spike in e-commerce sales

In the e-commerce channel, the hand sanitisers segment saw a whopping 1,425 per cent growth, whereas facemasks recorded a growth of 406 per cent in sales. The hand wash and floor cleaner products saw a 86 per cent and 76 per cent growth in sales, respectively.

Similarly, people were stocking up cooking oil, spices, snacks etc from e-commerce platforms. The cooking oil segment saw a growth of 106 per cent whereas spices, salt, ghee recorded 21 per cent higher sales and the packaged atta segment saw 16 per cent higher sales.

Similarly, snacking and processed foods, salty Snacks recorded 84 per cent higher sales. Sales of soft drinks and biscuit were up 68 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively.

According to the analysts, “On a year-on-year basis, the e-commerce industry saw a 40-50 per cent growth. However, for this fiscal, the e-commerce segment will definitely cross the 50 per cent margin.”

Published on March 26, 2020

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