Rising rural growth underpinned by stable consumption in India: NIQ

FMCG value growth (6.6%) is led by consumption, price growth (0.1%) is stable.
Urban consumption grew at 5.7% while Rural grew at 7.6%.
Non-food (11.1%) grew 2X faster than food (4.8%) in volumes.

Bengaluru, 7th May 2024 : NielsenIQ (NIQ), the world’s leading consumer intelligence company, released the FMCG Quarterly Snapshot for Q1’24 (JFM’24). According to the report, the Indian FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry has experienced a 6.6% growth in value, attributed to a 6.5% increase in volume at an All-India level. The report further reveals that volume growth for this quarter is higher than Q1’23 which stood at 3.1%.
Chart 1: FMCG grew at 6.6% in Q1’24 driven by consumption growth at 6.5%.

Source: NielsenIQ, FMCG Quarterly Snapshot Q1’24 (JFM’24)
Roosevelt Dsouza, Head of Customer Success – India at NIQ, stated, “The FMCG industry’s growth continues to be driven by consumption trends in Q1’24 (JFM’24), with rural areas surpassing urban growth for the first time in five quarters. Notably, Home and Personal Care (HPC) categories have outperformed food categories. While food categories witness higher unit purchases, the growth in HPC is largely driven by the popularity of larger pack sizes.”

Market Dynamics: Consumption slowdown in Urban & Modern Trade; uptick in Rural and Traditional Trade
Rural consumption growth has gradually picked up pace and has surpassed Urban in Q1’24. Urban sees sequential decline in consumer demand leading to 5.7% this quarter. Within the retail sector, Modern Trade continues to exhibit strong double-digit volume growth at 14.7%. Traditional Trade, on the other hand, experienced stable growth, with volumes registering 5.6% growth in Q1’24 compared to 5.3% in the previous quarter (Q4’23), suggesting that traditional retail channels are holding their ground.
Chart 2: Rural and Traditional Trade on the rise

Source: NielsenIQ, FMCG Quarterly Snapshot Q1’24 (JFM’24)

Non-Food Categories accelerate, Fueled by Rising Consumption
At the All-India level, both the Food and Non-Food sectors contribute to the growth in consumption (refer to chart 3). In Q1’24; Non-Food sees almost double the growth as compared to Food. More units were purchased in Food categories compared to the same period last year, whereas in Non-food, more large packs were bought.
In Q1’24, the volume growth in the Food sector is 4.8% compared to Q1’23, down from 5.3% in Q4’23. This slowdown in growth is primarily due to products falling under Staples.
In contrast, Non-Food categories, there is an improvement, with consumption reaching 11.1% in Q1’24 compared to last year, an increase from the 9.6% recorded in Q4’23. This improvement can be attributed to an increase in Rural uptick, with a growth rate of 12.8% in Q1’24 (vs. 9.8% in Q4’23); led by Personal Care & Home Care categories. In Urban areas, the Non-Food sector is witnessing increasing consumption in Personal Care growing at 8.4% in Q1’24 (vs. 5.8% in Q4’23).

Chart 3: More units bought for Food while larger packs preferred for Non-Food

Chart 4: Non-Food Small Players Gain Volume with Price Cuts

Source: NielsenIQ, FMCG Quarterly Snapshot Q1’24 (JFM’24)

Within the broader FMCG industry, large players continue to demonstrate stronger performance compared to small players. Despite this, smaller manufacturers have seen higher volume growth rates in non-food categories over the last two quarters compared to large companies. This might be because smaller players face challenges in keeping prices stable in the food sector, while non-food categories with significant price increases have experienced higher volume growth.

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