Indian consumers are prioritising health and safety over discretionary consumption as the country battles with the second pandemic wave, according to a consumer survey by Deloitte.

About 48 per cent of the consumers indicated net spending intent towards healthcare, 33 per cent towards medicines, 42 per cent towards internet, 47 per cent towards groceries, and 44 per cent towards household goods, indicating that consumers want to focus on non-discretionary spends in the time of crisis.

“The consumer persona shows stock piler (63 per cent), convenience seeker (69 per cent) and bargain hunter (51 per cent) still remain high amongst Indian consumers,” the survey added.

Deloitte’s latest edition of 30-day analysis-based consumer survey, which was conducted across 18 countries, also ranked India as the the highest in terms of anxiety during the second pandemic wave.

About 21 per cent consumers in India are anxious, followed by Chile (16 per cent ), Poland, South Africa and Italy, it stated.

Porus Doctor, Partner and Consumer Industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said, “Our survey insights are a reflection of the heightened consumer apprehensions, which are at the core of their decision-making. As the health crisis again takes centerstage in the country, the average Indian consumer prefers to use digital and online channels wherever applicable.”

With the significant increase in the number of cases, the Indian consumer is seen to cautiously approach the future by prioritising health safety, preferring online channels for purchases, and choosing to delay large purchases.

Indian consumers are also not looking to venture out as they do not feel safe about going to a store, restaurant, engaging in person activities, staying in a hotel, returning to workplace, taking a flight, etc.

“Indians are significantly more concerned about returning to the workplace than they were in February 2021. About 28 per cent today worry about returning to their offices, as compared with 15 per cent in February 2021,” the survey added .