Move over Lipstick Index, it’s the Chocolate Index that drives us Indians!

by Akshay D'Souza

September 30, 2020 | 01 min read


Move over Lipstick Index, it’s the Chocolate Index that drives us Indians

The pandemic is well and truly here in India. Daily cases are around the 1 lakh mark no and we’re still learning to live with the pandemic to earn our livelihood. 

So, is it all gloom and doom? Is there a God? 

Did he send enough monsoons so we can grow our crops? And use it to manufacture the products that we so finely brand, distribute and make some money? So people can continue to earn their livelihood through these struggles? 

The answer to the above is, YES!

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) (famous for weather predictions in India :))  says this “Rainfall is likely to end in the normal or above normal category,” IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said at a press briefing

That’s good! The future looks bright for sure, what with IPL giving India such super-over thrillers that help us forget all the pain. Also, the festival season excitement is palpable with God expected to shower his blessings while we humans shower ourselves with gifts and sweet treats. 

And in other news, the Indian economy has contracted by 23.6% in Q1

Now, a very famous man named Leonard Lauder (Chairman of the Estee Lauder board in 2000) got some of his fame by coining the term LIPSTICK INDEX. His claim was that lipstick sales could be an economic indicator, in that purchases of cosmetics – lipstick in particular – tend to be inversely correlated to economic health. 

So, we decided to look deeper into Indian buying behaviour to look for products want-products specifically (not need-products) that were being bought higher than normal. 

  • The daily active kiranas (kiranas placing an order on a brand) are only increasing and trending upwards in Aug-20. It’s now significantly better than Q1.
  • Confectionary products are easily the biggest gainers! They’re followed by beverages that could have had a potentially solid season if Out of home consumption had remained strong. 

While they had the biggest impact of the supply disruption in Apr-20, they’ve bounced back dramatically and are also a favourite stocking product at Indian Kiranas. Almost 30% more outlets are stocking them now for the last 3 months since the restoration of the supply chain. 

Chocolates do provide comfort to Indian consumers in challenging times and we’ve happily consumed them to keep our minds focussed on the good things in life. 

I’m proud to present to you the ‘Chocolate Index’ as the Indian indicator of consumer preferences in times of Recession.

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