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Indians becoming more conscious about impact of human activity on climate change & other environmental factors: Kantar report

The report highlights consumer-led developments identifying growth enablers that will help drive the FMCD landscape in the future

Indian consumers are becoming more conscious about the impact of human activity on climate change and other environmental factors, as revealed by Kantar’s FMCD Sustainability report, “Walking the Talk on Sustainability with Consumers – a roadmap for India’s FMCD Sector”.

As per the report, when we look at the Indian consumer’s top concerns within the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) framework, issues beyond poverty and hunger emerge.  

Kantar, the data-driven analytics and brand consulting company, has unveiled the report which is a guide for the FMCD marketeers highlighting how the intersection of the FMCD (Fast Moving Consumer Durables) sector and sustainability will further enable growth. It aims to provide key sustainability roadmaps for FMCD brands to help them navigate the ecosystem with sustainable solutions.

The company said that the India FMCD market is at an interesting juncture today. Emerging from the pandemic, the Indian market presents significant opportunities; starting with consumption patterns that have changed significantly – towards safety, premiumness and technologically advanced products.

Launched at the recent CII’s FMCD Summit, the Kantar report, provides key recommendations for the FMCD brands, as below -

  • Embed Green Lifecycle across portfolio and processes
  • Connect the environment and the everyday
  • Address Consumer Knowledge Barriers
  • Mainstream PLM Strategies around Repairability, Packaging, Access-based business models, and Return & Recycling
  • Meeting accountability expectations

With the suggested roadmap, the report also highlights noticeable consumer trends that lead to a collective accountability of both businesses and audiences, seeking the path to a more sustainable world.

According to the Kantar report, consumer reactions in the wake of COVID-19 continue to evolve and the Indian market presents several opportunities for the FMCD brands. The report further states that cautious consumption is the norm - Hygiene, Health and Wellness are key consumer concerns, where 91% Indian households are washing hands more often now, 47% Indian households claim increased toilet cleaning, more so in rural (49%) vs urban (43%).

It goes on to add that while the pandemic caused worry and panic, there was a high demand in the FMCD Health and Wellness space. New-market segments such as air purifiers, ACs with purification filters, smaller sub-categories such as UVC disinfection categories, UVC desk lamps, and growth of personal care health tech products such as smartwatches and fitness monitors saw amped-up sales.

The report says that data also suggests that consumers are changing education and work codes, with work ecosystems being reshaped by digital transformation. With accelerated digital adoption, there is 125% growth in usages of smart devices among internet users, paving way for the emergence of a smart home. Some of them are – smart lights, smart speakers, smart air purifiers, smart display, smart home entertainment and smart cleaning.

It further states that there is also evidence to suggest that ‘value’ is a key factor for consumers since post-pandemic financial concerns have cropped up, where 73% attribute COVID-19 to have impacted household income, while 67% pay greater attention to prices while shopping. This has led to an overall joint accountability of both businesses and consumers towards adopting a stronger sense of collective corporate responsibility.

Paru Minocha, Managing Director, Qualitative and Lead- Sustainability Practice, South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar said, “The FMCD sector is witnessing rapid growth even in post pandemic phase while we’ve also seen a great consumer shift towards sustainability and the environment urging brands to rethink their strategies. Consumers have greater expectation from companies than from themselves; this is likely to be amplified in FMCD, where personal behaviours post purchase is led primarily by the policies/features of the product and company they use. With this report, we are putting forward recommendations to brands which help in solving customer tensions with sustainable solutions, addressing barriers such as packaging, service models, repairability, and return and recycling policies. There is opportunity for brands to target active consumers who are engaged to the core issue and instil structured business solutions to help overcome them with time”

Sushmita Balasubramaniam, Shopper and CX Domain Lead, Kantar, said, “Consumers today are more aware and concerned about sustainability and other issues like pollution, carbon emissions, etc. For example, in the mobile phones category, consumers expect brands to address macro environment issues of carbon emissions and plastic pollution whereas in the computing category – carbon emissions, packaging and tax evasion are palpable concerns. In appliances, concerns exist on pollution (air and plastic) and emissions besides packaging. While we see consumers consciously making smarter choices, the responsibility resides with brands and marketeers to provide sustainable solutions to resonate and build credibility with their audiences moving forward.”

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