Private-label is a growing business in India—resulting from the boom of organized retail (or modern retail)—however, the growth of private-label food brands has not been limited to large, organized retailers. On a recent trip to my neighborhood mom and pop (or kirana) store, I noticed they were selling their own brand of private-label foods. It was nothing more than their “loose” foods, well-packaged under the store name, stacked neatly on the shelves next to branded products.
To give more context, the “loose” format, traditionally sold in most Indian mom and pop stores, includes foods like rice, flour, sugar, salt, spices, lentils, etc. These are available according to the quantity you need, and because most stores don’t have abundant shelf or aisle space, they are bagged by the retailer for each order. The appeal of loose foods over branded products stems from their perceived authenticity and lower price.However, incidences of adulteration in food have created bad quality perceptions for the loose foods, especially among those who are less price-conscious and more driven by quality attributes.Branded foods have an advantage due to convenient packaging and guarantees of consistency, proportion, and quality.
Mom and pop shops that carry both can find it difficult for their loose food products to compete with branded ones. So when I saw my local mom and pop shop packaging and selling store-branded food products I thought it was a brilliant idea.
This solution not only gives the store owner better margins than that of branded products; it also helps build a brand equity for the retailer, helping shoppers overcome negative quality perceptions associated with loose foods. It also offers up the appearance ofchoice;greateraccess to less expensive branded products that are not traditionally sold at other mom and pop stores in the area. Convenient location plus variety may be the perfect value equation for Kiranas to entice shoppers to to skip a trip the supermarket.
-Contributed by Priyanka Sah, Integer India