India’s neighbours are growing at a quicker pace in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Bangladesh and Pakistan saw a growth of over 8 per cent for the year 2003-04.
In contrast, Sri Lanka’s FMCG market recorded a sluggish 1.8 per cent growth and India managed to remain in the positive territory with a growth of 0.7 per cent in the same period.
These findings on growth trends around the fast emerging south Asian sub-regional consumer market was released by research firm A C Nielsen.
“There are clearly no set rules about how these markets are likely to perform as each of them follow different evolutionary paths. While Pakistan taps into potential line extensions and competitive introductions from multinational Chinese and Indian companies, Bangladesh has discovered the catalytic effect of lower unit packs.
In Sri Lanka, on the other hand, a slowdown has not abated the activity of smaller local players in select categories, and even overall deceleration in larger markets such as India conceal sizeable pockets of opportunity, Sujit Das Munshi, executive director for retail measurement services, AC Nielsen (south Asia), said.
In Bangladesh, changes in consumer’s buying behaviour and aggressive distribution by marketers has helped branded packaged goods sustain the sector’s growth. Categories such as hair oil, detergents, milk powder and toothpaste recorded double digit growth rates.
Matching Bangladesh’s pace is Pakistani FMCG market, with laundry detergents, the largest category recording a growth of 14 per cent followed by soaps with 12 per cent.
India and Sri Lanka FMCG markets are almost similar in their behaviour. Categories such as toilet soaps, detergent bars and toothpastes recorded negative growth rates while biscuits grew positively.
Price cuts followed by heavy promotional activities in India are finally seeing the 2004 ending on a positive note.