January arrives freighted with the promise of new possibilities and new beginnings. In keeping with this spirit and mood, our lead story in this issue takes a deep dive into assessing the market cross-currents and riptides that will wash ashore India’s Food & Grocery industry in 2022.
Enriched with insights gained from a cross-section of leaders across the food and grocery industry, our story Retail CEOs… Read the Tea Leaves for 2022 (pages 28-43) takes the pulse on the industry outlook for this year, what interesting trends and concepts will play out, and how the fortune cookie is likely to crumble in the days ahead. Notwithstanding the Covid-related travails of the past two years that hung like a Damocles’ sword over business, the year ahead could prove to be a tide-turner and game changer in many ways. One interlocutor pointed out that the demand for food products currently is still above the pre-pandemic level while all the leaders put their faith in the growth momentum continuing to build on in the months ahead.
However, cautionary notes were struck as well. More online platforms, newer players, and better technologies are entering the market, and they are changing the rules of business engagement. While there is a clear and perceptible shift in consumer behavior and preference for making purchases online, the spotlight on food safety and hygiene has accentuated with customers making food choices that resonate with the changing realities of our current situation.
We trust that the industry will step up to the plate to embrace the challenges and opportunities through new learnings and innovations, and by aligning their offerings and strategies to the tastes and needs of the modern-day consumers.