Business Today

Retro: Southward Ho

Marketers have known for sometime now the southern market's penchant for mosquito repellents, coffee, detergents and talcum powder.

     Print Edition: October 3, 2010

Then: Marketers have known for sometime now the southern market's penchant for mosquito repellents, coffee, detergents and talcum powder. They also know that Keralites prefer tea; people in Andhra Pradesh respond to the word "mega"; and Tamil Nadu likes its cuppa Horlicks. Now, some bright ones are decoupling the terms "conservative" and "southern consumer" that had always been a part of the Indian marketing lexicon. IMRB's household purchase panel Marketpulse (June '06-May '07), shows the four southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala - are leading in 15 out of 38 product categories of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). And in 19 categories, the South has registered a higher growth than other zones. Marketpulse is the largest purchase panel (comprising 70,000 urban and rural households) running in India for over 25 years, and tracks over 50 product categories.

The figures speak for themselves. The South has recorded the highest growth rates in all income classes, except the super rich (incomes over Rs 1 crore). Little wonder then, that the South is emerging as the market to crack for every marketing head worth the multiple zeroes in his pay packet.

Now: Marketers are now reporting unexpected growth in the East - Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal, in particular - and pockets of the North.

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