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Pandemic drives record 140% growth in tea, coffee sales in rural India: Report

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A study conducted by rural retail enabler platform StoreKing has revealed valuable micro snd macro insights on consumption behaviour patterns across rural retail during the pandemic-driven lockdowns. StoreKing connects suppliers/brands and financial institutions to rural consumers with the Kirana as an anchor.  The study — conducted across 22,000 rural Kirana stores — monitored purchase habits in categories such as Baby Care, Food and Beverages, Home Care and Personal Care Staples.

Commenting on the key findings, Sridhar Gundaiah, Founder and CEO of, StoreKing says, “It is rather interesting to note that hygiene and cleanliness have become a priority in rural India. We have registered a huge spike in the sales of handwashes and soaps across cities.”

“While we could clearly demarcate the most preferred personal care products like Sanitizer, Handwash and Soaps, from consumption analysis, we were also interestingly able to identify some of the regional favourites like hand washes in rural Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, Soaps in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra etc,” he adds.

Key insights

  • The study reveals that Chips, Biscuits, and Popcorns consumption grew by 83%
  • However, additives and packed food like ready to cook and eat, mayonnaise, chutney, flavoured juices saw a sharp drop across states
  • With people spending more time at home due to the lockdown, pest and mosquito repellent category registered more than 200% growth in consumption
  • Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka saw 134% growth in herbal solutions in the hair care category
  • Fancy articles such as Talcum powder, Lotion, Cosmetics, Scrubbers lost their sheen and dropped by more than 70%
  • Whereas consumption of hair color, shampoos, shaving needs face wash grew by more than 47%, as the parlours and salons are shut
  • Sales of Deo, Hair gel, Hair Removal Cream, Bleach have fallen by more than 70% as offices and colleges are closed and professionals and students are homebound
  • The study also highlights the consumption patterns of sanitizers and soaps. Rural Madhya Pradesh & Telangana is moving towards hand wash while cities are preferring traditional soaps
  • Soap is still one of the largest categories and it grew by more than 50%
  • Sanitizer demand was high in 2020; however it’s going flat at present

StoreKing launched in 2012 with a seed investment from Mangrove Capital and is headquartered in Bangalore. At present, it has a run rate of Rs 800 crores in products sales with a combination of direct brand tie-up and also marketplace sellers for Rural India and also powers Rs. 500 crores in Financial services transactions every year with over 1000 super franchises and 20000+ franchisees. The platform enables retailers to manage their consumers with loyalty points and has registered close to 3 crore consumers of rural India for the program. The team comprises 200+ members spanning eight states — Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.