Work schedules are getting tougher for the average Indian, and Indian consumers have been quick to realise that taking care of the family’s health is the best way to combat stress and keep up with the pace of modern urban life. While India has been the strongest advocate of home-made and natural health fixes, the modern Indian, armed with product knowledge, is warming up to packaged health and wellness foods.
The popular product offerings from a marketer’s stable in the health and wellness foods category are breakfast cereals including oats, refined and non-refined oils, health and energy drinks, biscuits, beverages like juices and green tea and soups. Faced with an array of choices from different brands across each of these products, benefits are top of consumers’ minds when making purchases.
Indian consumers who eat health and wellness foods are no longer satisfied with being just disease-free; to them, good health and wellness mean much more. They have requirements that are emotional, physical and even vain. Emotionally, consumers expect healthy products to boost confidence and decrease worries in their lives. On the physical side, they expect to be fit enough to work effectively, not get tired and maintain an active lifestyle. Finally, these products appeal to consumers’ vanities as they are associated with a healthier, more attractive appearance.
What Contributes To Good Health?
Urban Indians today agree that good health is a holistic combination of good food habits and healthy lifestyle habits. While consumers see food as the key contributor towards good health, they are well aware that food and lifestyle are two sides of the same coin and need to be balanced to achieve results. Indian consumers agree that regulating when and what they eat, along with maintaining good dental hygiene, are the aspects of food that need to be monitored. Many also believe that exercise, maintaining an active lifestyle and mental wellbeing are lifestyle aspects that need to complement good food habits.
For most Indians, health and wellness means physical fitness without disease or illness. Our studies also showed that for many, peace of mind is also an important attribute.
Room For More
The health and wellness foods market in India is worth INR 33,000 crore, with a growth rate of 6% over last year. The other key opportunity in the sector is that consumers and brands have moved beyond just breakfast substitutes; today the health and wellness trend plays across segments of the food basket like snacks, packaged grocery, beverages, sugar substitutes and refined/non-refined oils.
This encouraging value growth rate seen in health and wellness foods is spread across different strata of society. Rural India is no stranger to this trend. In fact, it is a front runner in the health and wellness food growth story. If we look at the value contribution of the different geographical zones in the country to health and wellness food categories, we see a fairly equal contribution, with the South zone leading the charge.
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