The Indian gifting industry comprises of corporate gifting and personal gifting. Corporate gifting enjoys more than 80 percent of all gifting items, with personal gifting contributing the remaining 20 percent. Last few years have seen new emerging trends given the rise in the demand that has been ruling the corporate gifting space.
The gifting industry in India has registered a strong growth over the past decade thanks to rising income levels and aspirations. The gifting market size has an estimate of USD 40-42 billion, with many players reporting annual growth in the range of 20-40% and is expected to touch USD 84 billion by 2024. The report launched by leading gift cards provider Qwikcilve, said the market is growing in the country by three times annually. Also aiding this growth are such factors as, on the demand side, the widening of the customer base, and, on the supply side, the offering of innovative products at attractive prices.
Here are 10 hot trends in this industry especially witnessed during the festive seasons like Diwali.
1. Food gifting not restricted to mithais and sweets:
A decade ago, food gifting was largely restricted to the traditional mithai or sweets. Chocolates are replacing traditional sweets as they are considered suaver. They can be packaged in varying quantities that suit all budgets, can even be customized to help brand recall. All age groups like to devour chocolates and comparatively have a longer shelf life.
Brands have played a key role in bringing about this transition from the traditional mithais. Cadbury’s showed alternatives rather than sweets to the Indian consumer. Its innovative products, e.g. Celebrations, extensive reach, and attractive packaging have attracted evolved consumers in India for over two decades. Cadbury’s is now innovating to account for the growing demand for premium chocolates as gift products. Haldiram’s, a traditional mithai store, realizing the opportunity in other food gift categories, now offers innovative products and hampers in chocolate, gourmet and bakery space.
2. Demand and availability of non-food gifting items:
Corporate gifting during the festive seasons like Diwali is not restricted to just the food gifting items like sweets, chocolates, dry fruits etc. The tradition of gifting sweets has made way for spa coupons and other customized gifting options. Customers are demanding non-food items like home decor, office accessories, travel accessories, lifestyle products and various other categories which were never even considered as a corporate gifting option.
This has lead to an increase in the manufacturing of these products, especially during the festive seasons. There has been an improvement in the logistics department to make timely delivery of these products. Gifting companies provide catalogs to suit requirements of customers from startups to MNCs.
3. Innovative products at affordable rates:
The market is currently experiencing a revolution, with new product innovations, both in the food and nonfood segment. FMCG companies like PepsiCo, Parle, Coca-Cola, are offering innovative gift products during festive occasions, apart from their regular product offerings. Dunkin’ Donuts also offers innovative gift solutions during such occasions. Products such as innovative travel gear are popular for senior level gifting because at that level professionals are always on the go. Leather accessories and hand-crafted limited edition writing instruments are also extremely popular.
Products for corporate gifting ranges from tableware to bar accessories to home décor and desktop accessories among others. Besides, exclusive and designer products with a twist are also the hottest selling products for corporate gifts. With the startup culture, quirky and funky products have also found their place in the product catalog. Brands, offering such products, like Chumbak and Happily Unmarried have become popular in both corporate as well as personal gifting.
4. Packaging has become a game changer in the buying cycle:
Apart from innovative product offerings, brands have also used attractive packaging to bring about this transition among consumers. Companies are innovating their packaging to underline factors like premium nature, adhering to safety standards, etc. Given the importance of packaging in promoting sales, companies hire design teams and artists to create the right concept.
Design, colors, and imagery play a vital role in this design process. PepsiCo, for instance, was successful in projecting packaged juices as a gifting item owing largely to their innovative packaging. Their other product categories, including Kurkure, Lay’s, soft drinks, etc., which are also available similarly.
5. Customized product packages:
The demand for customized packages in the past one year has risen almost 10 times, whether it’s for internal clients (employees) or mass corporate gifting. Nature’s Basket, a premium food-specific Godrej chain, offers customizable food and gourmet gift hampers, which are occasion-specific and customizable. Foodhall, a Future Group company, has similar product offerings. For those looking for high-end gifting options at affordable prices, customized hampers containing a wine bottle, chocolates, and other eats is another option this festive season.
At Fratelli, combinations of wine bottles with various items are available. Customized packages of wine and organic caramelized nuts or wine teamed up with playing cards and chocolates are available. The print chocolates have customized logos and/or messages printed on them.
6. Branding and personalization on the gifts and the packaging:
Branding the gift item and its packaging plays a decisive role during the purchase cycle. Personalized gifting makes the sender feel more involved and allows a personal touch. It also emotionally binds the customer of both ends with the company for making their occasion memorable.
The personalization of gifts is now customary and to raise this awareness imprinting a germane messaging or embossing a logo of that particular organization is a fresh branding idea. This branding solution for entrepreneurs is used in the form of promotional offers for such customers initiating them to accomplish their business through more profit. Even in the food gifting category, branding possibilities on chocolates and bakery items like cupcakes etc. is a huge hit.
7. Demand for products that combine aesthetic as well as a utility:
A combination of aesthetic as well as utility items has hit the shelves to help companies strengthen their relationship with clients and employees without burning a hole in their pockets. The trend has witnessed an upsurge in the last few years and according to industry insiders, the estimated market for corporate gifts has reached the Rs.12,000 crore ($2.5 billion) mark.
Exclusive items at affordable prices are what consumers are looking for, points out Anuj Sawhney, managing director of Swiss Military India, a pioneer in corporate gifting solutions. Organizations today are looking for a mix and match of traditional and modern ideas. There is a rising emphasis on premium quality gifts but at affordable prices.
8. E-commerce in the gifting space:
Another trend, which largely mirrors other categories, is the rising importance of e-commerce in the gifting space. Large e-commerce companies like Amazon.com and Snapdeal.com have specific sections dedicated to gifting. Simultaneously, offline players like Ferns and Petals, Foodhall, etc are looking to capture online customers. New gifting portals have come up to capture this space like giftease.com, giveter.com, indiangiftsportal.com, etc.
The offerings include bakery products, assorted chocolates, confectionery, dry fruits, sweets, and other gourmet products, apart from other categories like flowers, jewelry, watches, etc. With rising time paucity and ever-longer distances separating families the role of e-commerce will only deepen in the future, thanks also to the rising penetration of Internet service providers.
The purchase of online accessories and gifts are now easing the job of numerous corporate companies as an age-appropriate facility in this regard. Online shopping has also led to various small players entering the corporate gifting space.
9. Corporate gifting is no longer considered for luring clients but also to woo employees:
The corporate gifting trend has gone beyond the company’s partners and associates. It has also become a way to motivate employees. The main objectives is to make events memorable, offering bespoke gifts to the employees and incentive for staff as well. The perfect way of appreciating the contribution of deserving employees is to award them with gifts. IT industry has been one of the leading industry when it comes to demand for corporate gifting items owing to their large employee population.
10. Demand not restricted to festive season
There is a steady demand for gifts during product launches or events as well. These trends will be magnified in the coming years. These can bring changes in the gifting space in terms of product offering, packaging, customer needs, and brand innovations.
It is exciting to innovate and enjoy with customers in happy occasions.
For more ideas on corporate gifts check out our blog on “21 Diwali/ corporate gift ideas for your business employee“