Despite financial uncertainty, consumers of today are considering health and well-being to be an ‘essential’ spend, alongside groceries and household cleaning products. A survey of more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries including India, by Accenture, concluded that consumers are not willing to reduce the amount they spend on health and well-being. It also highlighted that consumer facing companies need to respond to these consumer priorities. “We believe there is a huge opportunity for consumer goods companies in India to really listen to evolving consumer needs and accordingly reimagine their product strategy and portfolio, explore adjacencies in their business models and focus on building more trust and credibility with consumers,” said Anurag Gupta, Managing Director and Lead – Strategy & Consulting, Accenture in India.
During the survey, two-thirds of the respondents said that they feel squeezed financially, and 80 per cent also said that they intend to maintain or increase their spend on areas related to health and fitness, including exercise classes or vitamins and supplements, in the next year. Furthermore, more than four in 10 respondents said that they are increasing the amount of physical activity, one-third of them said that they are now more focused on self care as compared to last year.
“With growing consumer focus on preventive healthcare and holistic well-being, it will be crucial for companies to use data and analytics to better understand consumption patterns, innovate to come up with new products, services and collaborations,” said Manish Gupta, Managing Director and Lead – Products, Accenture in India. He also pointed at a considerable increase in cross-industry partnerships across consumer electronics, wearable devices, healthcare, insurance, consumer goods, auto among others.
In line with the increase in spend on self care, the survey said that around 51 per cent of the consumers are also planning to maintain or increase their spend on leisure travel in the coming year. In fact, 39 per cent of the high-income respondents have already booked a luxury trip or wellness retreat in the next 12 months. Millennials are mostly focusing on wellness retreats this year with 21 per cent already having their bookings in place. Not only this, one third of the total respondents maintained that they were willing to give up on spending on non-essential household products or electronics to be able to afford to travel.
While the Accenture survey found various arenas where consumers are prioritizing their spend, it is important for companies/ businesses, the report said, to understand the context in which the purchase decisions are made. This would ultimately help the businesses figure out the right strategy to offer the most relevant brands, products or services to their target audience.