The Enigma

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Monday, October 22, 2007


An In-Store Consulting Survey, as shown in Economic Times today says the following:

The average time spent at a chocolate aisle in a typical Supermarket in India is 22 seconds according to the survey. It also says that regular buyers spend, on an average, 39 seconds. Does that mean, as ET questions, that Chocolate has become a "grab-and-go" product? I wonder if it really has!

One of the most interesting products to study in the Indian Markets is Chocolate. Chocolate has been a confectionery item in US for long, but in India, it was considered a luxury item, or rather a gift item for long. There were also strong biases against it, for it was considered to kill appetite, be bad for teeth and gums. Added to all this, it has also been branded a children's product. But, against all this, chocolate as a product has come out strong and appeals to all segments of the society today.

Whatever be the scenario now, the statistics brought out by In-Store are quite a revelation. I think it is mostly because of the positioning of the chocolates in India. To me, Chocolate is the only product segment where there is a unique place for every chocolate, and even competitors have unique features that make decisions easier. Also, since Chocolate being a confectionery, the buying patterns are influenced by promotions and tag lines according to me. I would never eat anything other than Perk when Preity chuckled from behind a billboard biting into a Perk! :D

Coming to the statistics back again, I feel it is so because when we Indians shop for a chocolate, it is either because kids ask for it, or we have an unusual urge for it. I termed the urge unusual because, either it is once in a bluemoon when we pick up the first chocolate we can see or our fave brand or else it is an addiction like some of my friends have. A friend of mine was one of the reasons why the storekeeper at college made maximum profits selling Dairy Milk! :P So, both these categories have not many decisions to make. They directly buy the product.

Coming to others, they are driven either by promotions or identities carved due to them. Dairy Milk comes with 'Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaaye', while Kit Kat asks you to 'take a break'. More or less each product has a place of its own in the consumers mind. When I go to buy a chocolate, I am most of the time decided about what I am going to buy. If I am not, when I reach there, I pick up the one whose pack is most lip-smacking! There are no two ways about it. Probably, that is the reason the Indian Consumer also spends so less time at the chocolate aisle.

The next time I go buy a bar, I shall time it ;) :P Do you have any other reasons for buying chocolate? or is your buying pattern any other, then please do mention as a comment! :)

PS: Talking of chocolate, something we should read is here. Probably it will make us think twice before we buy a chocolate next time! :S

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At October 24, 2007 8:57 AM, Blogger Saraswathi said...

Oh chocolate buying is mostly impulsive in my case. I dont go to shop to buy chocolates but when i see my fav chocolate i surely buy one. Ya my cousins were the main reasons sometimes why we used to buy chocolates.

At October 25, 2007 11:39 AM, Blogger Supriya Narang said...

I guess in chocolates' case one P is the most important.. and that is positioning..
the way all the stores keep the chocolate racks just around the billing counters is the main factor for our so called "urge"
since we're done with the shopping for the important stuff, we're a bit relaxed and tend to pick up our fav choc when we see it :)

At October 25, 2007 11:40 AM, Blogger Supriya Narang said...

and hey, we were used to buy chocolates in any case when we went shopping with our parents anyway.. so the habit still lingers on
:P hehe

At November 10, 2007 6:00 AM, Blogger a blue eyed girl said...

well, my store carries excellent chocolate from other countries inc belgium and spain...and for a very reasonable price! i especially love dark chocolate....not only is it yummy but it has antioxidants! :)

At January 08, 2008 3:48 PM, Blogger Apps said...

I think it's only 29 seconds cause that's how much time you take to gape at the shiny display with your tongue out, before you realize that if you eat another bar, you probably won't fit into that pair of skinny jeans you bought yesterday.

Go on, call me vain :(


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