Most Indian households prefer local shops over online for fruits, vegetables | Mint
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Business News/ Industry / Retail/  Most Indian households prefer local shops over online for fruits, vegetables
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Most Indian households prefer local shops over online for fruits, vegetables

Despite the convenience of online platforms and apps delivering fresh fruits and vegetables at home, many consumers have been raising issues and complaints related to quality and returns.

While 19% of consumers buy from local vegetable vendors, suggesting a strong preference for traditional channels, only 7% rely on online ordering platforms.. Photo: Ashesh ShahPremium
While 19% of consumers buy from local vegetable vendors, suggesting a strong preference for traditional channels, only 7% rely on online ordering platforms.. Photo: Ashesh Shah

New Delhi: Nearly 66% of Indian households prefer purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from traditional local markets due to quality concerns and high prices of online products, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles. 

While an additional 19% of consumers buy from local vegetable vendors, suggesting a strong preference for traditional channels, only 7% rely on online ordering platforms.

“Issues of quality, high prices, difficult returns and grievance redressal, limited selection are impacting growth of this (online) sector per the survey," the community social media platform said on Friday. “While some consumers are using these apps to get fast deliveries of a handful of fruits and veggies, most are now buying them from their local market and stores. The value pricing and discounts that were made available by these platforms early on have reduced or gone away thereby leading to prices that are 1.5-2 times of the local markets."

The survey, conducted between 1 September and 20 November, received over 24,000 responses from consumers located in 297 districts of India.

Despite the convenience of online platforms and apps delivering fresh fruits and vegetables at home, many consumers have been raising issues and complaints related to quality and returns.

“Quality of fruits and vegetables delivered via online platforms was always average and the return-refund process mostly painful, according to consumers", said Sachin Taparia, founder, LocalCircles. “However, due to competitive prices and good discounts, most tended to ignore these shortcomings. With discounts reducing and risk of covid minimal, many consumers are now buying majority of their fresh supplies from the local market, buying only incidentals or topping up via online grocery apps", Taparia said.

More consumers turned to online delivery platforms after the pandemic-linked restrictions. As a result, the general adoption of online groceries went up. However, with the resumption of offline retail, consumers have also moved back to multiple channels to buy fresh produce.

In most metros, platforms such as Big Basket, Amazon Fresh, Jio Mart along with subscription platforms like Big Basket Daily, Big Basket Now, Milk Basket and quick delivery platforms like Swiggy are now popular among consumers.

“Despite many platforms delivering fresh produce at doorstep, consumers are fast moving away from buying fruits and vegetables online, largely due to reduced discounts and value and the quality of produce staying average at best," the survey revealed.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 24 Nov 2023, 04:57 PM IST
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