Convosight e4m webinar: 'Demand for ready-to-cook products will rise in post-Covid world'

The panellists discussed how cooking and eating habits of consumers during the COVID times have impacted the food industry

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 5, 2020 8:32 AM  | 4 min read
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The Convosight e4m webinar conducted on Wednesday, 4th November 2020 saw a panel of experts deliberating on the topic “How the Change in Eating Habits Post COVID Impacted the Food Industry”.

The panel was chaired by Tamanna Dhamija, Co-Founder, Convosight. Other esteemed speakers on the panel Pavan Singh, Deputy General Manager (Marketing), Amul; Vincent Noronha, Vice President Marketing, Havmor Ice-Cream; Adit Kohli, Community Head, Delhi Foodiez and Tasmayee Roy, Assistant Editor, exchange4media Group shared interesting insights on the topic at hand.

Setting the context of the discussion, Dhamija shared insights and research on the eating habits of people curated by Convosight. She stated, “Cooking at home has increased due to Covid, we have also seen how recipes & conversations around cakes have increased from 44% to 58% post covid compared to preparing Indian sweets, which has down to 42%.”

“A lot of what we do at Convosight is linked to insights and it is all conversational insights”, informed the Dhamija.

Speaking about the kind of products that spiked during the past months of lockdown, Singh said, “Amul saw a spike in the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products during the past few months of the nationwide lockdown. The demand for products like cheese, paneer, ghee, butter and others soared due to a lot of home cooking happening during that period.”

Singh went on to enlighten the audience about the ‘World’s Longest Live Cooking Show’ hosted by Amul and today was the 201st day of the show. He said, “Amul hosted the 24-hours live cooking session. Viewers got a chance to learn the skills of making simple homemade recipes from chefs hailing from over 26 cities across 4 countries which garnered around a maximum of a billion views”.

The demand for immunity boosting food has risen since the coronavirus outbreak. Ice creams being more on the indulging and cheat side of our eating habits witnessed a downfall during the lockdown phase. Noronha acknowledged the fact and said, “During March to June when the peak was too high we suffered a lot because those are the 4 months were ice cream sells the most and that was the same time when the markets and dealers were shut, so we could not perform anything.” But, with normalcy returning back in phases and making ice-creams at home being a tedious job, Noronha is guarded by optimistic thoughts on the bounce-back of the category. When questioned on the new trends to witness in the category, he added, “People find ice creams very sweet, so probably sugar-free or low-calorie ice creams can be the next generation ice cream that people will be waiting for."

Moving the conversation forward, Dhamija tried to understand the source of insights and innovation for Amul and how did it keep a tab on the trends that were setting in during the lockdown in terms of food habits of its consumer base. To answer her question, Singh informed about NPI,i.e., New Product Innovation, at Amul. He said, “Our NPI is more than two products every month. We, regularly keep a tap on our loyal consumer base, their needs and demands to continuously evolve and innovate.”

Turning the heads towards Kohli, Dhamija questioned the need of food communities and need of brand associations with such communities. Responding to her query, Kohli said, “Anyone associated with food can be part of the food community. Brands should come to these communities group and understand the pulse of the people. Before launching the product they can test in these communities and get the insights. Brands need to offer something valuable to these communities for successful brand collaborations and campaigns”.

“People are learning to live with COVID now and they are adapting to changing scenarios. People are ordering food and eating out. Conversations are changing. If brands are targeting these communities, their messaging should be subtle and not too direct. The product should add value to the customer. Recipe content works well with these groups."

To conclude the virtual discussion, the session chair took insights on the future of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products as a category. Singh sounded optimistic of the growth in the category and said, "We are going up on the value ladder. Firstly our products were just ingredients to a recipe, but now we have ready to cook or ready to eat range as well”.

"DIY recipes went over the roof during the Covid times. But now people are fatigued. So, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products are here to stay and evolve with the changing times ", concluded Kohli.

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