Indians during the period from April to September of this year comparatively consumed lesser amount of meat, fish, cold drinks, ice-creams, vegetable oils, bottled water and even skin and hair care products, revealed the CARE rating analysis released last week.
According to the analysis, the impact is varied depending on the demand of various products. The reduction in the consumption of these products was reflected in the significant drop in the production of these items during the time period.
A reduction in the consumption of anti-inflammatory and anti-tuberculosis medicines were also recorded as people avoided going to hospitals out of fear of contracting the virus but anti-malarial drugs and hydroxychloroquine saw an increase as it was used in the COVID-19 treatment
The food items like fish, meat, cold drinks, ice-creams etc that belongs to the consumer non-durable category of the Index of Industrial Production saw a decline of 7.8 per cent in the past 6-month period of this year while the same period in the previous year saw a growth of 5.1 per cent. However, the festive period of September is witnessing a sharp bounce back in the index.
While the production of eatables like ice-cream fell by 70 per cent, production of soap, disinfectants and detergents rose as people became more aware of a hygienic lifestyle. Demand for frozen food items like meat, fish and even aerated drinks fell as people were afraid of the spread of virus through cold food products. The closure of restaurants and hotels also affected the consumption of cold drinks.
However, food items like biscuits, butter and milk powder saw an increase as people stayed back home due to work from home and lockdown restrictions. Hair and skin care products suffered a sharp contraction as well with the introduction of a ban on public gatherings.
There was also drop in the demand for industries like hotel, tourism, and aviation as people also became conscious of not wasting money on discretionary spends.
The analysis sheds light on how the Covid-19 pandemic bought an immediate change in the lifestyle and consumption patterns of people.