72% consumers paid more for packaged food and groceries during lockdown 1.0-4.0
- • Lower discounts and charging over MRP main reasons
- • Despite lockdown relaxations via Unlock 1.0, 28% consumers are still getting packaged food and groceries delivered at their doorsteps
June 3, 2020, New Delhi:With the Government mandate of staying at home as much as possible via Lockdown 1.0 to 4.0 from March 25th till May 31st, consumers juggled between shopping for essentials and at the same time, keeping themselves and their families safe by minimizing exposure. Many consumers reported on LocalCircles that during lockdown 1.0 to 4.0, they ended up paying more for many essentials and grocery products as compared to pre-lockdown. This was not due to an increase in prices by the manufacturer, but because traders and retailers reduced discounts and some, per consumers, even resorted to charging above MRP.
LocalCircles conducted a survey to get consumer pulse on their experience of buying essentials during and after the lockdown, with respect to pricing. The survey received over 16,500 votes from consumers located in 210 districts of India.
Consumers were asked for the purchase of packaged food and grocery items done by them since March 22, what has been their experience with respect to pricing. 25% consumers said for the same items, prices paid were same as before the lockdown, while 49%prices paid were higher as discounts were lower than before the lockdown. 23% said for the same items, prices paid were higher as many times they were charged above MRP. Charging more than MRP, online or at physical retail stores is a violation of the Legal Metrology act.
72% Consumers paid more for packaged food and groceries during lockdown due to lower discounts and prevalence of charging above MRP
Prior to the lockdown, various retailers and ecommerce grocery apps were offering big discounts as the grocery supply market has been heating up with the arrival of apps like Amazon Pantry & Fresh, Flipkart, Big Basket, Grofers and the latest entrant JioMart. But during the lockdown, retailers as well as etailers minimized or eliminated the discounts they offered, forcing the consumers to shell out more for the same products.
In an earlier LocalCircles’ survey, 39% consumers had said that during the lockdown, they were charged above MRP by retail stores while 21% said they were charged above MRP by online sellers. The survey indicated that consumers found MRP compliance to be better on ecommerce apps, as compared to local retail stores.
Consumers were also asked now that the lockdown has been relaxed, how they and their family are buying most of the packaged food and grocery items. 17% said they have been buying via eCommerce/eGrocery apps while 8% said they call or WhatsApp retail stores and get them to deliver at doorstep. 19% said they order via the colony/area neighbourhood store. 53% said they have been buying from the local retail stores or market.
Despite lockdown relaxations, 28% consumers still getting packaged food and groceries delivered at their doorsteps
This means that despite lockdown relaxations, 28% consumers are still getting packaged food and groceries delivered at their doorsteps. The primary reason for this seems to be the effort to keep themselves and their family safe from the Coronavirus infection by not stepping out of homes unnecessarily.
In the online discussions on LocalCircles, many consumers indicated that with all physical retail now functioning after Unlock 1.0, they are hopeful that the discounts will once again make a comeback on retail stores as well as on the ecommerce grocery apps, allowing them to save on essentials in this time of crisis.
16,500 responses were received from citizens located in over 210 districts of India. 54% respondents were men while 46% respondents were women. 57% respondents were from tier 1, 32% from tier 2 and 11% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.