In 2023, consumers will opt for packaged food which is consistent in quality, purity and taste. Trends will also be the key factor in driving growth among consumers. Today, there is a growing interest in new wave trends such as keto, vegan and other such highly health and diet-conscious consumption. The awareness towards a healthier lifestyle has seen a significant increase in people’s choice of food and grocery products. When it comes to choosing the right brand, purity of the product plays a very crucial role.
Quality will be key in the years to come. Consumers no longer compromise on the quality of their food. Post pandemic, consumers have learnt to put effort into selecting the right brand for their day to day consumption. They are also well informed and learned about the brands that they are consuming. This makes it challenging and a growth driver for brands, which in turn strives them to be a lot more conscious, tech-driven as well as enhance the quality of their products. This approach also drives the brands to have clean labels and transparency in terms of how their products are processed, packaged and sold. The tone is set to being conscious about consuming food that is pure and chemical free.
In 2023, consumers will ensure to make right and sustainable choices, not just for themselves but also for the environment. The focus will shift to choosing brands that align with their ethos and value system. Their values will impact their buying behaviour, even though price and product value will have a role to play. This will eventually navigate the food industry to be more aware, responsible and thus bring about a holistic change towards the usage of plastic and non eco-friendly products.
There will be a widespread adoption of clean-living trends in 2023, which is going to further democratise access and availability.
Along with all the above factors, trust has been a unanimous growth driver for brands. Most consumers are loyal to brands that align with their value system, provide quality products which are pure, tasty and chemical-free. A foundation of trust is what drives the food industry.
The Opportunity and the Challenge
2023 is going to be an exciting year for the food and edible oil industry. With rising incomes and a growing economy, food is the sector which will drive consumption.
India has become one of the largest consumers of vegetable oil. Changing food habits and increased effort to eat home-cooked healthy meals are one of the largest drivers for increased consumption of edible oil.
One of the main challenges that follow is that the demand for edible oil in India is so great that the supply chain cannot keep up. As a result, India imports enormous amounts of vegetable and culinary oils from nations like Malaysia and Indonesia. This might alter, though, if the nation’s productivity rises and there are various ways to do so by being self-reliant. India is a price-sensitive market, thus oil at a competitive price will be more appealing to institutions and consumers. It is vital to tap into alternative opportunities and better technologies to avail more quantity of oil. With global crises such as the Ukraine war and FMCG inflation, prices of edible oil had risen sharply.
Thus the challenge for the coming year is to make edible oil a lot more affordable.
(The author is GM – Sales & Operations, MK Agrotech Private Limited, maker of oil and food brands Sunpure and Palmpure).