According to the 2011 census 68.84% of Indians live in rural areas. (Wikipedia) No wonder then that the Indian rural market offers great opportunities and potential to companies as two-thirds of the country’s consumers are residents of this belt. Almost half of the national income is generated in the rural areas. In 2007 the rural retail opportunity was estimated to be approx USD 34 billion which is expected to touch USD 58 billion by 2015.
However, a large proportion of India’s rural population remains poor and unable to afford products with a steep price range and that is a major concern for manufacturers. In this regard the concept of products in small packages/sachets has appealed to one and all. Shampoo sachets were the first to be introduced in this trend at a minimum price of Re.1 targeting the rural consumer. According to an ORG-MARG data, 95% of total shampoo sales in rural India is by sachets. The demand was fuelled by largely price conscious consumer residing in rural and small towns.
With time and the increasing popularity of the sachet rural marketing became high on the agenda of most of the FMCG companies who came up with their products in small packets and at a basic price. From shampoos to hair oil to toothpaste to biscuits to soups to chocolates to cold drinks/juices to various other items sold like hot cakes.
Low purchasing power of a majority of the Indian consumers has ensured that the demand for small packaging does not die down. Flexible packaging has gained mostly in this trend owing to its low cost. UFlex Ltd. is at the helm of delivering innovation packaging solutions through its constant and improved R&D.
Packaging which once upon a time had the simple purpose of protecting the packed products has come a long way. Today flexible packaging is an art, science and a technology in itself. Progressive R&D has also ensured that packaging has become an integral part and a reflection of the consumers’ personality and lifestyles.
Small packets and sachets have allowed the rural consumer to user durables/consumables in their everyday lives which an urban consumer would also use thereby improving their standard of living.
The rural market is a minefield of opportunities for any marketer provided that his plans are in tune with the specifics and requirements of the market. By capitalizing on this trend the flexible packaging industry can invest in advanced sachet packaging technology which can help the manufacturers achieve the flexibility and efficiency and ease for which these packs are intended. The little pouch is a powerhouse of benefits which extends from the manufacturer to the consumer.