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Brand 'fancy'

Rural folk in India are now going the 'brand way'. Take the case of edible oils. According to the Processed Food and Agribusiness - Report by KPMG and FICCI, packaged products are preferred in the edible oil segment as rural consumers are increasingly becoming health conscious as well as brand-aware.

The annual consumption of edible oil in the country is currently about 110 lakh tonnes, 40 per cent of which is branded. While edible oil’s growth, in terms of consumption, is about 8 per cent, packaged oil is growing at 22 per cent.

The reasons behind rural folk joining the growing fold of 'brand consumers' is twofold. First, Brands help consumers be at ease when it comes to evaluations based on quality and other functional attributes. For brand conscious consumers these parameters are a taken as they assume that it would be rare that a brand defaults on such basic attributes. The second reason, is that brand purchases satiate 'aspirational impulses'. Every consumer wants to climb the aspiration ladder. Buying a brand is a sign that shows the consumer has 'arrived', more so for rural consumers.

Now that is not to say that brands will win, hands down. Brands have to customise to rural purchase patterns. In the case of edible oils, marketers targeting the rural folk have taken care to ensure that package sizes are reduced the fit the 'lower' purchasing power of rural folk who cannot afford the money to buy larger quantities at a time.

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