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Rural India is reprioritising its purchase basket to manage impact of inflation: Kantar and GroupM Dialogue Factory’s report

As per the Rural Barometer report, the credibility of digital media is seen at par with traditional media among rural consumers

A majority of people in rural India are concerned about their financial situation and are reprioritising their purchase basket to manage the impact of inflation, as per Kantar and GroupM Dialogue Factory’s Rural Barometer report.

Kantar, the evidence-based insights and consulting company along with GroupM’s rural and experiential marketing unit- Dialogue Factory has unveiled the fourth edition of the Rural Barometer report. 

This report explores the evolving priorities of rural consumers concerning inflation and how it alters consumer behavior and purchase patterns.  

The research was conducted with Kantar’s data and insights network and Dialogue Factory’s rural marketing intelligence in 18 Indian states, across rural adults (18+ years in age) with representation across gender, NCCS and age groups.

The key highlights of this latest version of the Rural Barometer report are: 

  • Inflation-led concerns: An overwhelming majority of 70% of people in rural India are concerned about their financial situation. The concerns being voiced around the personal financial situation of people in Rural India are more acute amongst skilled/ unskilled workers and people who are dependent on small businesses like traders/shopkeepers etc. on the other hand, agriculturalists in rural India show relatively lower concerns about their personal financial situation but have lower confidence in the countries overall economic resilience.

Confidence in the economy is better in southern regions except for Karnataka, while Northern India along with WB in the East shows lower confidence in the economy. The claimed monthly household expenditure in rural India has increased by 8%, while claimed monthly household income has increased by 12% during the same time. Thus, somewhat offsetting the effects of inflation.

Dalveer Singh, Head of Experiential Marketing- APAC, Dialogue Factory said, “Inflation worries are trickling across rural markets and its impact can be seen in dwindling consumer confidence in H1’22. Confidence in economy is better in southern states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana whereas northern India along with West Bengal in East are not so optimistic. Big-ticket expenditure in last six months is stagnant or declining. Conversely construction categories are continuously witnessing an increase in spends in rural India and small construction is high on future intention as well.” 

Puneet Avasthi, Senior Executive Director- Specialist Businesses, Insights Division at Kantar said, “Inflation concerns remain in rural India affecting 2 in 3 households, however, household income has been going up at a rate faster than inflation, as a result creating some stability for people in Rural India. In order to cope with inflationary trends, consumers in rural India are looking to move to small pack size and further, could also be doing portion control to make the pack last longer”

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