While consumers across the world are seeing a growing number of “Made in India” labels on the goods they buy, Indian shoppers are witnessing a subtler change. Increasingly, multinational companies are selling products that are not just made in — but that are made for — India and tableware is no different. Entire generations of Indian consumers, who once felt grateful simply for being able to experience the same brands as the rest of the world, are now realizing they can ask for products that cater to their wants and needs. And they stand a good chance of getting what they want.
The willingness of big brands to customize their products was never the issue. What has changed is that the Indian market has finally reached a critical mass — after the U.S. and China, this is the largest consumer market in the world — that justifies the investment. Things have changed. As Indian consumers became more aware of trends and advancements in technology, they began to demand similar sophistication. Earlier, there was a reverence for anything foreign because local products were of terrible quality, but as the market developed, the focus started shifting from the product to the brand.
Customers started patronizing a brand only if the product suited them. So, the need arose for companies to adjust their products to customers’ requirements.
It isn’t only about holding on to existing customers. If altering a product’s design or introducing a variant will help a brand reach out to an additional customer group, most companies would think it worth the investment. Product customization is the result of a definite consumer need that has to be served without sacrificing profitability. And consumers will always want something different. There is no such thing as too much customization.
When it comes to the Tableware Market, then Indian consumers are one of the most diverse in the world. Even before the rapid socio economic changes that took place over the last decade in India, the vast cultural diversity and the multitude of eating habits and varied lifestyles have been a reflection of the socio –economic background of the consumers ensuring the home needs segment is one of the most vibrant market segments in India. The country has now witnessed the creation of many new markets and a further expansion of the existing ones. In India, tableware’s role has clearly evolved during the last 20 years. At first its purpose was merely functional, but currently it has become essential to the haute cuisine staging.
Indeed, this has been one of the fastest growing segments over the last decade and has created more value for new brand. The market is exploding with innovation as a need for enhanced convenience in the household is driving rapidly growing demand. The increased purchasing power and evolving lifestyle along with a high degree of urbanization, proliferation of nuclear families and technological advancement, mean that the products demanded and made have changed substantially. Far from being the poor relation, India’s tableware sector is on the brink of something very big…