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NEW DELHI : The pandemic has accelerated consumer demand for products that provide safe experiences, an aspect that trusted brands have capitalized on with their reputation and recall value.

The past five months had seen consumers look for the familiar in brands that could assure them of quality as well as safety, fast-moving consumer goods marketers said at the CMO Dialogues, a Mint initiative.

“We are focusing on first going after the core. We are definitely seeing consumers moving to what they are familiar with—what signals to them quality, safety and that is going to be products that have been around for a while and that’s our core portfolio," said Dilen Gandhi, senior director and category head, foods, PepsiCo India.

A big chunk of product consumption used to be in the unorganized sector, but with heightened awareness around health and hygiene, the switch from unpackaged to packaged will only get accelerated, Gandhi said.

The lockdown boded well for the company’s Quaker oats portfolio as consumers sought more health foods and also because of the adoption of digital shopping.

Gandhi and co-panellist Anil Viswanathan, senior director, marketing (chocolates), insights and analytics, at Mondelez India, agreed that Indians were not going to give up on snacking. However, the portions are growing smaller and some of them are even investigating the ingredients used and the country of origin.

“Perception and focus on one’s health and safety definitely has increased salience with implications for categories and brand consumption," Viswanathan said.

“Safety is a big parameter and a (known) brand connotes trust," said Pankaj Sharma, director, consumer products division, L’Oreal India, whose company had seen a lot of traction for its skin cleansing portfolio.

Suneera Tandon contributed to this story.

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