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JPMorgan in a recent note said that its monthly channel checks indicate continued price hikes across most FMCG categories as corporates navigate RM/logistics cost pressures. Most significant increases were seen for shampoos, soaps, laundry, milk additives and biscuits along with select increases in cereals, skincare, hair oil and coffee. 

Product launch activity continued at a moderate pace, with launches by select players including Dabur, Marico, Nestle India and Parle Products making new category forays, it said. Separately, it also sees inflationary trends in majority of commodity prices, most significantly in crude and palm Oil.

“We note a sequential increase in discounting levels across online retailers amidst festive season discounts. DMart and JioMart continue to remain the most competitive. Our preferred picks include GCPL (Godrej Consumer Products), MRCO (Marico), HUVR (Hindustan Unilever), BRIT (Britannia), APNT (Asian Paints) and HAVL (Havells)," analysts at JPM said. 

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) raised prices for select SKUs in soaps, shampoos, laundry and milk additives, whereas Godrej Consumer also continued to take price hikes in soaps with increase in its overall portfolio at around 6-7% so far. Marico took around 5% hike in select Parachute variant. Milk additives witnessed 2-5% price hikes by major players including HUL, Zydus Wellness and Abbott, it said. Some degree of hikes were also seen in biscuits by Britannia.

DMart and JioMart remain most competitive on pricing amongst E-grocers. JPMorgan's proprietary price comparison study across online grocers shows that, after a sequential moderation last month, discounts have increased back across players, amid various festive season offers across e-commerce platforms, the note added.

The views and recommendations made above are those of individual analysts or broking companies, and not of Mint.

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