In conversation with the experts, Social Samosa attempts to deep-dive into the very definition of the new normal for the FMCG Industry & what to expect in the coming months.
As we continue to brace forward, Social Samosa brought together a panel of experts to understand the new normal for FMCG Industry in its latest session of #SamosaTalks. It included- Mayank Shah, Category Head at Parle Products, Shailja Joshi, Associate Director, Marketing, Potato Chips Category, PepsiCo India, Shriram Sanjeevi, VP – Sales & Marketing, Levista Coffee, and Hitesh Rajwani, CEO, Social Samosa, who moderated the panel discussion.
With the businesses on the road to recovery, will the marketing strategy change for FMCG brands? How would the communication strategy evolve?
Several interesting points were raised in the context. We highlight some of the key factors discussed, as given below.
Brand strategy for FMCG brands during COVID-19
Parle's Mayank Shah shares that owing to recent times, the brand strategy completely changes as the consumer buying behavior moves from physical stores to digital channels on e-commerce platforms.
While product strategy for brands changed, there was a revival in the food category during COVID-19. "During the pandemic, there were probably only two sources of recreation - Media and families getting together around food. This is why food/FMCG was one of the least affected", explains Shah.
COVID-19 started with a disruption. However, Joshi shares that it is not a disruption but like acceleration to digital transformation across categories in the A & M industry.
With the demand for products rising in the Q1 phase of 2020, digital became a primary medium for distribution, too. In such a scenario, leveraging the medium became crucial along with strategic collaborations for the distribution strategy. "We have doubled our business on e-commerce with the increase in household penetration to 4-times. The trend for e-commerce and technology will continue for convenience", highlights Joshi for Pepsico products who cited the example of the collaboration of a brand with Dunzo for online delivery services.
Other key trends included:
- As a category, coffee and tea exploded, especially in Q1. While pantry loading was a prominent theme for physical stores, brands like Levista leveraged hyperlocal e-grocery, said, Shreeram Sanjeevi from the brand.
- There was a spike in the consumption of packaged food as people thought it to be safe in the initial days, highlighted Shah
- Health & Wellness and in-home cooking increased, shared Joshi.
The pandemic seems to have taught the relevance of social listening & real-time conversations for FMCG brands. According to the panelists, marketers need to understand the pulse of the media channels, trends, and more with the evolving times.
For communication strategy in the coming months, the experts highlighted that social media might be like a boon for many brands but caution in communication is important. Millennials on social media will not accept anything that is not true. Being humble and honest as a brand is always necessary.
You can watch the entire discussion here: