Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 20
Punjab — the land of milk, butter and ghee — is witnessing significant changes in people’s eating habits with traditional butter being replaced by peanut butter. This can be gauged from the fact that for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, Punjab is the biggest market for peanut butter after Delhi. Otherwise, Delhi market is followed by Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune for other products in the FMCG segment.
The demand is propelled by urban Punjabis who are health conscious and fitness freaks. The primary reason for this is its pure play into comfort food and focus on the taste-seeker category of consumers, which account for 56% of the total base in the country. Peanut butter being rich in protein, the demand is also coming from fitness freaks (26%) and novelty seekers (14%).
“Punjab is a very important market for us. In fact, it is the second biggest market after Delhi. We are getting demand from cities such as Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and other small cities. Our overall growth in peanut butter category has been driven by a slew of measures such as driving penetration through new packs and growing awareness among the urban population,” said Oliver Mirza, MD & CEO, Dr Oetker India and SAARC.
The overall market size of peanut butter is Rs 250 crore with Punjab having a significant share. The market is expanding at 35% per annum. To cater to the growing demand, brands such as Dr Oetkar, Ruparel’s, Sundrop, HealthKart and Alpino are eyeing to have a bigger share of the market.
The manufacturers said the product is specially designed for fitness enthusiasts and health seekers who are on a constant lookout for products that suit their active lifestyle.
According to them, peanut butter contains protein but no added sugar, salt, emulsifiers and preservatives. It is a rich source of vitamins (B3, B6 & E) and natural anti-oxidants. It also contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which are good fats with many health benefits.
“The growing awareness among the urban youth is driving the sales. We have observed that many of our consumers have migrated from traditional butter to peanut butter and opt for bigger packs such as 1 kg and above,” said a senior executive working with Sundrop.
According to the manufacturers, the category has grown despite muted consumer sentiment.
The product has managed to win hearts of urban consumers through innovative product formulation, understanding the changing consumer profile and building on their experiences.
Meanwhile, a consumer study commissioned by prominent manufacturer across seven cities revealed that the category is segmented into three profiles, namely taste seekers, health seekers and novelty seekers. The key barriers that emerged were unknown taste, affordability, lack of usage understanding and specific product needs for the health seekers.
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