Despite production & supply woes, FMCG market growth doubles to 4.2% last year

Mumbai: India’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market expanded 4.2 per cent in the last calendar year, twice the rate in 2019 despite manufacturing and distribution hurdles in late March and April, helped by the rise in the packaged food and hygiene segments as many Indians stayed home due to Covid.

The market for daily groceries and household products had grown 2.1 per cent by volume in 2019, according to the latest study by global consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel (formerly IMRB). Volume indicates the unit number of products bought or consumed.

Except for beverages, which declined 3.8 per cent, all other segments —personal care, household and foods — witnessed significantly higher growth during the year.

This rose in successive quarters after gradual reopening of the economy as restrictions were progressively eased.

global chairman Noel Wallace said he was pleased with the growth rebound that the oral care giant saw in India during the second half of 2020. “Generating 7per cent organic in the third quarter and just shy of 10per cent organic in the fourth, we think is a terrific performance,” Wallace said on an earnings call.

During the December quarter, most companies posted high volume growth. and Marico posted 18per cent and 15per cent expansion, respectively. HUL volume growth at 4per cent was at a fourquarter high. Kantar said the overall market grew 5.5 per cent during the last quarter, buoyed by rural India’s strong performance, which touched 6.6 per cent, the highest in the past 16 months.


“Rural and personal care continue to be the growth drivers in the latest quarter too,” said K Ramakrishnan, managing director, South Asia, Worldpanel Division. “Even bottled soft drinks start a comeback after being hit severely in Q2 and Q3, an indication that the household behaviour is returning to some sort of past normalcy.”

Since the nationwide lockdown beginning March-end, villages drove overall market growth, outpacing cities, which were severely impacted by the pandemic-induced disruption.

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