Consumer-buying behaviour during Bakrid & Janmashtami in Covid-19 era

COVID-19 era has changed the way consumers purchased their groceries in the following ways: (a) what they bought (product mix), how they bought (frequency of purchases/visits, size of each purchase) and from whom they bought (online/offline).

With the major festive season ahead of us, we decided to decode the spending patterns of the consumers during two recent major festivals – Bakrid and Janmashtami and how COVID-19 has changed the buying behavior at Kirana stores during these two festivals. We looked at the billing data across our network of stores (NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) for the following periods

  • Bakrid:
    1. Pre-COVID-19 era: 1st August ‘20
    2. Covid-19 era: 12th August ‘19
  • Janmashtami:
    1. Pre-COVID-19 era: 23rd/24th August ‘19
    2. COVID-19 era: 11th /12th August ‘20

The interesting insights that emerged out of this study are given below:

  • Trade-offs taking place: Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are seeing that the consumers are making certain trade-offs in terms of spends during the festive season. Due to the lockdown/movement restrictions/lifestyle changes, they are spending more on certain categories and reduced their spends on certain categories for the festivals.
  • Lesser spending on grooming/household items: The consumers have spent less on grooming items and household cleaning items during these two festivals as compared to last year; the reason being that entertaining guests at home has come down /is non-existent
  • Bakrid during COVID-19:
    • Dry fruits, nuts and mithais was preferred over home-made elaborate desserts/dishes (ingredients for baking/home-made desserts, biscuits) and confectionery
    • Consumers preferred buttermilk, lassi, colas and water/ juices prepared with water instead of orange/lime/lemon soft drinks
    • Categories that saw more increased consumer spending in Bakrid 2020 than in Bakrid 19:  Atta, Dry fruits, mithais, Packaged water, Buttermilk/Lassi
    • Categories that saw decreased consumer spending in Bakrid 2020 as opposed to increased spending in Bakrid 2019: Hair colour, Rice Flour, Baked goods,
  • Janmashtami during Covid-19
    • Consumers preferred buttermilk, Lassi and tea over coffee and soft drinks this year compared to Janmashtami 2019
    • Confectionery items were preferred over dry fruits and nuts by the consumers this year
    • The consumers spent more on ghee products and curds/yoghurts this year but they did not increase their spends on butter
    • The consumer spend on packaged water, which increased by 26% during Janmashtami 2019, did not increase during the festival this year. It is due to the fact that the guests were not invited home for the pujas.
    • Categories that saw more increased consumer spending in Janmashtami 2020 than in Janmashtami 19: Incense sticks, Atta, Ghee, Yoghurt/Curd, Buttermilk/lassi
    • Categories that saw decreased consumer spending in Janmashtami 2020 as opposed to increased spending in Janmashtami 2019: Coffee, Packaged water, Non-cola carbonated drinks