DIY, home cooking led to premiumisation: Damodar Mall

Lockdown: DIY, cooking at home have led to premiumisation, says Reliance Retail CEO Damodar Mall

"The more you consume at home and cook yourself, it leads to premiumisation as people upgrade themselves across categories," said Mall

Representative image/Credit: Pixabay Image

Lockdown has pushed the pace of digitisation in the retail segment and trends like do it yourself (DIY) and cooking at home have led to premiumisation of the purchase basket, Reliance Retail's CEO for Grocery Retail Damodar Mall said.

Lots of general trade, kirnanas and modern stores went digital during this time and gained from these opportunities by bypassing traditional multistage distribution system as it created a 'digital flyover', he added.

This is also helpful for the startups, which are now getting benefitted from this fundamental change, he said while addressing the virtual Resurgence TiEcon 2021 Conference.

"The more you consume at home and cook yourself, it leads to premiumisation as people upgrade themselves across categories," said Mall, adding this was a natural phenomenon.

According to him, during the peak of the lockdown, his company sold more alphonso mangoes than in the previous year.

"Both the Kirana stores and the modern players have played to this opportunity," he said.  

Competition, which had eased during the lockdown, is now coming back into the retail sector.

The push which has happened in digitisation in just three months was supposed to happen in the next 3 to 5 years, he noted.

The brands were thinking to switch off the marketing, reduce pack sizes, fearing down trading, but the retailer insisted to make more premium products such as pasta and in bigger sizes as the customers were confined to their homes, he said.

"...when the company started to supply, then they realised that there was an opportunity," Mall added.

For a brief period, people did not spend on travel, entertainment and outings and it was reflected in the spend on the premium products, he noted.