Data from market research agency IMRB shows urban consumers significantly cut spends across categories ranging from home and personal care to food & beverages.
In January, consumer price index-based inflation rose for the fourth consecutive month. It stood at 10.78 per cent, against 10.56 per cent in December.
“The result is consumers in urban areas are either opting to buy less or, for the time being, choosing to drop certain categories from the purchase basket,” said Manoj Menon, group business director, IMRB International.
Growth in the consumption of detergents, washing soaps, etc, by Urban households has been steadily declining.
From eight per cent in 2010, growth fell to zero in 2011. In 2012, consumption fell two per cent.
While pre- and post-wash products are being pushed aggressively by companies such as Hindustan Unilever, consumption growth in this category fell from nine per cent in 2010 to two per cent in 2011.
In 2012, consumption fell four per cent. Growth in the toilet and bathroom cleaners category stood at 16 per cent in 2010 and five per cent in 2011 and 2012.
Household insecticides saw marginal growth — from six per cent in 2010 to seven per cent in 2011 and eight per cent in 2012.
For shampoos, growth fell from nine per cent in 2011 to six per cent in 2012. In 2010, consumption was pegged at three per cent. “So, while it grew in 2011, it fell in 2012,” said Menon.
Growth in skin creams fell from 11 per cent in 2010 to eight per cent in 2011 and zero in 2012, while growth in hair oils fell from two per cent in 2010 to zero in 2011. In 2012, it rose to three per cent.
Growth in toothpastes and tooth powders remained stagnant — against five per cent in 2010, the segment grew four per cent in 2011 and 2012.
In the food & beverages category, segments such as milk food drinks, coffee, noodles, edible oils, sauces, ketchups, bottled soft drinks and breakfast cereals recorded a fall in volumes in 2012.
However, niche food categories such as ready-to-cook mixes and curry pastes and glucose powder, bucked the trend.