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Rural, semi-urban areas driving demand; urban markets still affected: Rajesh Ramakrishnan of Perfetti Van Melle India

In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, the Managing Director of Perfetti Van Melle India, says though the company has seen a decline in sales, it has gained a share in its category as the impact of the lockdown on other companies has been worse. He says semi-urban and rural markets offer a ray of hope

Rajesh Ramakrishnan

During the Covid-19 pandemic period and the subsequent lockdown, the entire fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has witnessed a slump. The confectionery segment is no exception.

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But within the confectionery industry itself, Perfetti Van Melle, the Italian manufacturer of confectionery and gum, which owns brands such as Mentos and Alpenliebe, has increased its market share.

“Our decline has been lower than that of the category (confectionary) and as a result, Perfetti Van Melle has gained a share,” Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India, said in an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com

April was a tough month for many categories — the entire country was in lockdown since the end of the March and this severely impacted the supply chain as well as demand.

People limiting their purchases to exclusively essential items, while cutting back on consumption of confectionary products, also added to the adverse impact on market growth.

Ramakrishnan said, “For most categories, May has been better and June has been even better with some good recovery, as things started opening up.”

For most categories, including confectioneries, the demand in rural and semi-urban markets have been relatively stronger, he said. Although the demand in urban markets, especially in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, had been adversely impacted by the lockdowns.

The company largely advertises on mass media such as TV, which has a reach across markets, and will continue the same in the coming months as well.

“The channel’s mix will be determined by the priority markets, especially if a brand has more of a semi-urban / rural skew,” said Ramakrishnan.

He said brands with stronger connect are thriving during this period because of the trust they have built over the years.

He said, “Consumers have become less experimenting amid the pandemic and are sticking to their trusted brands.”

Thus, he advised brands to stick to fundamentals, understand consumer needs, offer differentiated products, build strong consumer engagement and drive distribution.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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