Consumer Habits And Practices for chocolates -
September 16th, 2010
Consumer Habits And Practices
Chocolates are consumed as indulgence and not as snack food, as prevalent in western countries. Almost 75% chocolates and 90% confectionery are impulse purchases.
Chocolates are bought predominantly by adults and gifted to children. Direct consumption by adults has also increased.
In contrast, over 90% of confectionery products are purchased by children between the age of 6 and 14, directly. In most cases, parents do not approve of confectionery consumption, and children buy out of their pocket money.
Chocolate consumption is concentrated largely in metropolitan cities. Confectionery consumption is wide spread. The unorganized sector has a greater dominance in rural areas.
Confectionery consumption has a seasonal pattern. Sales peak of confectionery is in winter months from November to February. Off-take is lowest in the summer months as schools are closed and therefore children's pocket money is lower. Also in monsoon consumption falls as children are out of home for lesser time. Between February and April pressure of examinations causes lower sales.
Brand loyalties are weak in confectionery products. Children look for novelty and excitement. Most purchases are impulse driven and POP retail displays (dispensers, etc) play an important role. Promotions such as stickers, cricketer/ star pictures have tremendous impact.
Cross elasticity of demand - Different products amongst confectionery such as hard boiled sugar candy, bubble gum etc compete inter se and also with ice cream and chocolates.
Confectionery market is extremely price sensitive. In India, 50 paise unit price has been the largest segment, followed by 25 paise segment. Re1 is considered premium pricing. When raw material prices escalate, marketers find it difficult to pass on the same due to problems of coinage, as price increase has to be in steps of 25 paise.
Chewing gum consumption faces a major problem of disposal, as the gum residue has a tendency to stick. To keep public places clean, some countries like Singapore have banned use of gum-based confectionery. Consumption of chewing gum is significantly higher in the Western countries.
Children consume bubble gums whereas chewing gums by teenagers and adults.
In India, consumption of chewing gum has been very low due to non-availability of superior quality products till a few years ago. During the last few years, market for bubble gum has exploded. It is expected that similar growth would be witnessed in chewing gum as the current generation grows up with the habit of gum chewing.
Grown up adults feel guilty about eating chocolate, akin to stealing a child's food.
Now days the consumption of chocolates has even more decreased because of preparing of chocolates at house. Many people for fun sake or during occasions prepare chocolates rather than bringing for market.
Women has started classes for teaching preparation of chocolates at home which is comparatively cheaper and looks good if given to guest by name of home made rather than a market chocolate. Many people has also started it as a business by selling on small scale and even selling to local shops for cheaper rates.