New Delhi: The covid-19 pandemic has brought about long-lasting shifts in consumer behaviour, including greater adoption of packaged and healthy foods among Indian households, according to a research note by ICICI Securities.

Analysts have been carefully watching the market and looking for trends that are likely to stick around and those that are likely to abate as the intensity of the pandemic recedes.

Analysts at ICICI Securities, in their note released Friday, identified consumer shift towards healthy foods as well as natural and organic products as emerging, and possibly, long-term trends.

This gives packaged food and beverage companies opportunities to expand their portfolios to cater to these demands. “We believe that one of the biggest consumer behaviour shifts during the first lockdown has been accelerated adoption of packaged and healthy foods. Consumers have started to realise that the only way to stay safe during the pandemic is improve their immunity and take care of themselves and have started looking into the labelling of products to understand what is good for them and what is not,” it said in its note.

“We believe that this trend will continue and has been just accelerated due to the pandemic,” it said in the note on the consumer staples and discretionary sector.

Researchers such as Nielsen also pointed to the trend of Indians turning to immunity building foods and beverages in the early days of covid cases being reported in the country. As a result, sales of honey, turmeric and the likes went up.

Moreover, companies are also packing in ingredients perceived to be healthy as consumers become more watchful of what they consume amid heightened concerns around their health and immunity.

Mint had earlier reported that several large companies such as Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Marcio, Dabur India among others were raising the stakes in the health foods category and even relooking at their food portfolio to better suit consumer demand in a post-covid world.

The note also points to an increased adoption of ayurvedic, organic and natural products. “We believe that consumers had started shifting to products which are positioned as ayurvedic, organic and naturals. Increased fear of coronavirus will further accelerate such shift as ayurvedic, organic and natural products are perceived as a better alternative to other FMCG products (some of them) are perceived as chemical-based having harmful effects,” analysts at ICICI Securities said.

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