What happens when leaders of the food, grocery and retail industry get together to crystal-gaze? Fairtrade India’s commercial team participated in the Food and Grocery Forum of India Convention that was held in Mumbai in January. The who’s who of the food industry was present – introspecting, debating and talking about everything food.
Industry captains alluded to the Indian consumers who are unique because they are price-sensitive, discerning, quality-conscious, and experimental inherently. One CXO of a top retail organisation pointed out, “Double-guessing the consumer is the name of the game. Quirky though it may sound, the price sensitive Indian consumer is a big consumer of high-end premium products as long as the messaging it right, sometimes it takes an international food brand in India to make a presence in the market before we get our act together.”
Martin Hill, Commercial Director at Fairtrade International, talked about the international scene. What struck a chord with the audience was the insight that globally, consumers are now asking how their food is produced and sourced. “The current generation is environmentally and socially conscious, they are willing to make purchase decisions in line with their values, provided the communication is credible,” said Hill, who has over 30 years of retail experience. “This also offers retailers a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves, to add to their image as sustainable or ethical and develop a loyal customer base.”
As the food industry looks towards innovations to attract and retain consumers, one of the key questions emerges – will sustainability be part of their vision.