Anyone who has ever bought groceries from a local kirana store knows about the woes of the missing chutta. It is there – and the local paan shop round the corner – where chuttas become candies. Candies comfortably – or rather uncomfortably for the customer – replaced chuttas or change while local shopping. But they never saw the biggest threat looming ahead – UPI.
Explaining the transition amid the pandemic that shot up the usage of UPI, while simultaneously threatening the business of candies-as-chuttas, Abhishek Patil, growth leader in Cred and Dunzo and founder at GrowthX, said that with UPI there was no scope for chuttas.
Patil, addressing the issue in a post on social networking site LinkedIn, said that back in 2010, all big candy players, including Mondelez, Nestle, Parle, ITC, Mars reported staggering profits. Cut to 2020, when most of these brands saw a steep decline in the sales of toffee.
There are multiple factors for this decline. One of them was the “candies-as-chuttas scheme” that neared its end during the pandemic. “Before UPI, shopkeepers would shamelessly trade toffees for loose cash, a transaction that wasn’t happening other way round. These small amounts over days did wound up becoming large sums of money, as accepted by many buyers in studies. With UPI, all of this stopped. People paid the exact amount that was due with no scope for change, ultimately eating up the daily toffee sales,” explained Patil.
Consumers also were keener on contactless payments amid the pandemic, which gave a push to digital payments, pushing toffees-used-as-change off the picture. “No chocolate (toffee) company would have ever thought of finance products as their competition,” he added in his post.
Patil also explained the importance of understanding the reasons people buy a product and what could potentially change the behaviour. He said reasons that are not really one’s direct competition could potentially replace the product usage – like candies and UPI.
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