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India’s Affluent Consumers Prefer Larger Pack Sizes to Combat Inflation


During inflationary times, more affluent, Indian shoppers prefer larger packs for consumer products rather than seasonal sales in order to economize. These were the findings of a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of insights and analytics into what consumers watch and buy.

“Nielsen’s 2011 Global Online Shopping and Saving Strategies Survey of more than 25,000 Internet respondents in 51 countries shows that 46 percent of India’s online consumers prefer to purchase larger ‘value’ packs to save on household expenses.

Roosevelt D’Souza, Executive Director, Nielsen India says “Indian consumers have always been value conscious, and the inflationary environment has increased this tendency. At Nielsen we see more people actively seeking out deals, or even switching stores to avail of deals or better value. The emerging Modern Format encourages this practice, and the primary factor for choosing the modern trade format as a shopping destination is to look for options that offer better value”.

Saving strategies in India

Compared to those who preferred larger pack sizes for better value, less than a quarter (23%) of respondents think  that purchasing smaller packs with lower unit price would help them save their household expenses. Indians also see an advantage in shopping at value retailers (41%), and at locations close to their homes and offices (40%).

Using coupons to aid in saving garners favour with 34 percent of Indians compared to Asia Pacific (55%). China (67%), Hong Kong (68%) and the United States (66%) are the leading markets for coupons . In contrast, Singapore (72%), Malaysia (78% , Australia (72%) made purchases during seasonal sales as a method of saving on household expenses

How are Indian Shoppers Choosing their Retailer

The primary reason for an Indian shopper to patronise a particular retailer is highly dependent on the value for money he or she perceives that the store offers .This factor influences almost three out  five  shoppers in their choice of store. Furthermore, 56 percent of shoppers rate the convenient location of the store as being the most influential factor in their choice of retailer. A similar proportion (55%) sees the availability of the items they want as influencing their choice.

Are Indian Shoppers Stocking Up or Making Quick Trips?

Respondents report they stock up on groceries and other consumer packaged goods as a way to save money, yet stocking up as a primary reason for making a trip to the store is not widespread across the globe. In India, only a quarter make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on goods  and staples; more shoppers (30%) make a trip to the store to pick up a few essential items.

Overall, stocking up for groceries is less common in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East where approximately one in five online consumers surveyed say that is the primary reason for visiting the store.

The Future: Flexible Formats

When considering new and flexible retail formats for grocery shopping, there are distinct consumer preferences for online delivery options.  

IIn India, 31 percent of  respondents  indicate  they are highly likely to exercise the option of ordering groceries online and getting them delivered if this were available to them.  While over a fifth (22%) prefer the option of ordering online and picking up their groceries from inside the store, the concept of ordering online and picking up via a drive-thru or from outside the store is less preferred.

“Time saving tactics are critical for today’s time-starved shoppers, and e-tail grocery stores are slated to emerge as a viable channel for shopping as well as an important way for retailers to differentiate themselves while reducing costs,” observed D”Souza.  “This will be accelerated by increased Internet penetration and the emergence of mobile technology as shoppers get savvier and the need to save both time and money,without sacrificing quality – remains paramount. ” observed D’Souza.

IIn Asia Pacific, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents say they are likely to take advantage of the online shopping/home delivery option, contrasted with one-fifth of North Americans (20%) and one-third of Europeans (35%). About half of consumers in Middle East/Africa (48%) and Latin America (51%) indicated they are likely to shop for groceries online for home delivery.

About the Nielsen Global Online Survey

The Nielsen Global Online Shopping and Savings Strategies Survey was conducted between March 23 and April 12, 2011 and polled more than 25,000 consumers in 51 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only.Internet penetration rates vary by country.Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Online Survey, which includes the Global Online Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.