Maggi noodles to chyawanprash: What India has been spending on in pandemic

www.business-standard.com
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Consumers around the world are showing an increased interest in safeguarding their health and boosting their immunity
Months of have altered the habits of Indian consumers: Their spending patterns reveal just how deeply concerned they are with protecting their health and fortifying their store-cupboards, warding off boredom and keeping their homes (and themselves) neat and tidy. And where new routines look likely to stick, some companies stand to gain a lot.

Here are a few of the products shoppers in the world's biggest open consumer market have been stocking up on.

Immunity Boosters

. In India, that often means ayurveda, the country's ancient system of medicine.

Companies such as Dabur India Ltd. and The Himalaya Drug Co. are witnessing high demand for traditional products like chyawanprash (a cooked mixture containing honey, sugar, ghee, herbs and spices) and proprietary supplements like Septilin, which combines ayurvedic ingredients including licorice and guduchi.

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Chyawanprash sales across the industry grew 283% in June and branded honey rose 39%, according to Nielsen Holdings Plc. Dabur, one of India's largest ayurvedic products suppliers, said its chyawanprash sales surged 700% from April to June. The surge in spending is likely to last well beyond the next few months, according to Sameer Shukla, west market leader at Nielsen South Asia. "We saw very clear trends in terms of consumer ask — people would like to spend more on immunity boosters, health hygiene and stuff like that," Shukla said. "This kind of ask is not a short-term one."

Shiny Bhowmik, a working mother of two daughters, has been using chyawanprash for years. Since the onset of the pandemic, the 49-year-old's family have begun to use the product too. "I like to include immunity boosters like chyawanprash, honey and cloves in my family's diet," she said. "I often end up taking spoons of the brown herbal product throughout the day."

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., the company associated with celebrity yoga guru Baba Ramdev, also…
Ankika Biswas | Bloomberg
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