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Demand for edible oils on upswing

In a clear indication in the food and beverage segment, up-trading of consumers in edible oils, even as those categorized under the high Socio Economic Classification (SEC) A and B are the main drivers of packaged edible oils in the country, increasingly, consumers from SECs C, D & E — the mid-to-lower categories — are converting to packaged edible oils from traditional loose oils. On the other hand, with growing health consciousness, premium oils priced upwards of Rs 110 a litre are sourcing gains from loose oils as well as mid-priced packaged oils. This has gradually resulted in the bridging of the gap between premium oils and other packaged oils. The average consumption of premium oils is 1.2 litres per household per month, while the average consumption of other packaged oils stands at1.59 litres per household per month. According to IMRB data on edible oils, consumption of packaged edible oils is on the rise while that of loose oils has declined. In 2016 (January-December volumes in terms of litres per household member), all India urban plus rural average consumption of packaged edible oils rose to 4.6 as compared with 4 in 2015. On the other hand, loose oils consumption declined to 4.5 from 4.6. Chief Executive Officer, Emami Agrotech, which recently launched its ‘Emami Healthy and Tasty’ brand nationally — and which is a leader in West Bengal — said, “SECs B and C show distinct trend of up-gradation to premium variants of edible oil. Due to a constant trend of users upgrading themselves to premium variant, by the law of averages only, usage of premium edible oil does not get significantly affected by any healthy lifestyle trend. With fast changing lifestyles and health awareness, demand shift to premium and healthy oils will increase at a faster phase.

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