Nielsen to help consumer goods companies target kiranas

28 Feb,2013

By Sagar Malviya


Global market research firm Nielsen is set to survey small grocery or kirana stores across nearly two dozen Indian cities to help consumer goods makers target these outlets more effectively.


Trade Dimensions, the survey which will be carried out over the next six months and cover each grocery store in these cities, is the most exhaustive project of its kind to be undertaken by the US-based firm that tracks what consumers watch and buy. “Consumer companies have a ‘spray and pray’ model, through which they distribute their products in every outlet and hope it sells.


We are doing a census of over 20 cities in India, enumerating every single outlet there to find out the best way products can be distributed there,” said Piyush Mathur, president – Nielsen India.


Though the lakhs of small stores across the country account for more than 90% sales of manufacturers such as Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble, these companies have no way of finding out which stores are going to be more profitable.


“It is a critical project for companies as we can use the insights for a lot of corrective measures,” said BK Rao, group product manager at Parle Products, adding, “When we know about each kirana outlet, we can tackle issues in distribution and also if we should increase margins to the trade in select outlets.”


Experts say that most companies want to cover as many stores as they can simply because their rivals are doing the same. While Hindustan Unilever has the country’s largest retail network of over 7.2 million outlets, as per Nielsen estimates, its closest rival Procter & Gamble covers about 5.6 million outlets.


According to Nielsen, the consumer companies will be able to profit from the findings of the survey to understand the retail landscape better, plan routes for their sales force and prioritise profitable stores.


“In these cities, we have suburbs coming out of nowhere and becoming the centre of gravity all of a sudden,” said Mr Mathur, adding that Nielsen is also considering similar surveys in Indonesia and Brazil, where the traditional trade continues to thrive. Trade Dimensions will be a one-off exercise, unlike Nielsen’s existing retail panel, which follows a sample size approach and provides insights on sales and market shares every month.


“The initiative would have been interesting had it been a continuous and ongoing exercise, but it has limited scope and usefulness if it is a one-off project,” said Devendra Garg, senior executive director-consumer care business at Dabur India.


Source:The Economic Times


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