In response to our last 2 posts (click here and here), readers sent in their views on this topic, often as comments on Facebook. We thought of sharing them here, so all our blog readers can go through them.
Whether chocolates/ modern sweetmeats have replaced mithai:
- Healthy food items replacing modern sweetmeats? Potentially yes. But am not too sure the modern sweetmeat is replacing traditional mithai. To me it appears though a segment preference was identified and is being catered to, rather than the whole market being pulled away from its existing preference. Unless there is market-wide evidence that the traditional mithai is finding lesser acceptance, the advent of newer sweetmeats would not necessarily mean a shift. I believe there is place for all in the Indian market, whichever palate/segment one chooses to target.
- Yes…definitely changing in favour of chocolates…specially with so many options of them in market. You dont know what is getting mixed in mithai – all colors, chemicals, etc.
- Packaging plays a part in this change too. Traditional peda and barfi packaging is just not cool enough to make a baby announcement or take to your brother’s for Rakhi. Foreign- looking fancy packaging is way cooler.
- Apart from people’s tastes influencing their choices – these items are also easier to transport, have a longer shelf life, and are easy to re-gift. Those things might also play an important role in changing consumer behavior. Also, ‘seemingly healthier’ foods are all the rage since people have become more conscious about the correlation between their eating habits and potential health problems.
- Long shelf life, attractive packaging, hygiene, ease of storage, association of chocolates with gifting, western influence, experience brought in by the the Krafts and the Nestles from other markets are some reasons I can think of, for the ‘chocolate gifting’ segment to evolve. The market for healthy packaged food (for gifting) is only a sub-segment of this segment, in my opinion.
Interesting questions raised:
- Whether this is a result of a genuine change in tastes or whether it’s just aspirational (some might say “wannabe”). Is mithai uncool? Is it commoditized? Does good quality traditional western patisserie have a novelty factor that mithai now lacks? Can mithai ever be completely replaced?
Thanks Sonal, Rahul, Sagar and Sanjib for your contribution…
Escape Velocity Team