In the recent past, there was news of boycott of the products of FMCG majors, mainly HUL, by the provision stores next door. Their demand was to maintain parity between them and superstores such as D’Mart.
I am sure that these mega companies like HUL and P&G have their finger on the pulse of the market and that they need no advice from an amateur like me, but it’s a reality that known brands get sold as preferred products at these kirana stores rather than at supermarkets. In a supermarket, the products compete with each other as they are all displayed together on a shelf. Whatever consumer behaviour I have studied, including my own, consumers go for the most lucrative deal. If Cinthol pack says 3+1 free, consumers may like to pick it up in preference to say a Lux or Mysore Sandal. This applies ditto to other categories of products viz toothpastes, detergents, talcum powders, deodorants, cleaning materials etc.. However, when a customer goes to a nearby kirana store, in all likelihood he will ask for a brand that he always uses or has recently used or the brand with highest recall value. Consumer is likely to ask for Lux, Surf, Colgate, Lifebuoy rather than other not so “ readily etched in mind” brands.
We all see end of the road for these next door kirana shops not only due to competition from supermarkets, but e tailers and other D2C companies as well ! I myself have predicted end of the road for them unless they revamp their business. But given our inherent nature and requirements, especially our propensity to remember an essential item at the last moment, these stores seem to be going to remain relevant for at least sometime to come and FMCG majors should reassess their importance in their business model .