Over 3000 people answered an extensive survey that delved deep into understanding how the events of 2020 shaped consumer behaviour towards food, beauty, fitness, shopping, family, mindfulness, technology, e-learning and remote working. This has culminated into the ‘How 2020 Changed the Indian Consumer’ report, which offers a radical overview of how trends have evolved through the course of the year, along with insights for 2021.

Schbang Theta, a research & consumer centricity division at Schbang partnered with some of the country’s top influencers namely Masoom Minawalla, Ranveer Allahbadia, Pooja Dhingra, Karishma Mehta, Karan Shah, Varun Krishnan and Karan Jotwani who have a reach of over 5 million young Indians out of which 3000 Indian millennials took deep surveys which delved into understanding the consumer’s behaviour towards the categories studied.

The survey provides a broad and objective comprehension of how the year moulded the life of the Indian youth. The report offers specific and thorough insights for marketers across various sectors, which can help them grow in 2021 by devising strategies to optimize their systems.

Within beauty, the report highlights that 81% consumers will choose natural beauty products over Clinical beauty Products. It also exhibits the probable collaborations between the beauty industry and technological aids that provide a touch and feel shopping experience on digital platforms.

The big overarching standout of 90% people choosing family over friends was observed through the survey. While India still stands out to be a family-centric country, 71% reported deeper friendships. While family trumps friends, with respect to friendships one this is clear – the era of 5000 Facebook friends has changed into closely knit and deeper friendships.


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When speaking about the importance of family time, 48% young Indians spoke about how working kept them away from their family which calls for the organisations to factor family into various things that they do at work. Marketers will work towards diving into some of these moments to create a better market space for such opportunities.

The evolution of healthy eating and the scrutiny that plays before dining out have found their place in the food industry. The report also talks about the increased trend in cooking and delivery services which can be a potential area to suit the elevated demands of an Indian customer post the pandemic. 81% of consumers would rather order in than dine out going forward. And if they do, 91% will check for hygiene standards as a top priority. With respect to healthy eating, 86% young Indian consumers have become more conscious of their food intake.

The emergence of the remote working culture brought with it a wave of transforming homes into a workspace for the working members of the family, with 85% of Indian employees saying that remote working is the new normal and over 50% of all those surveyed would like to come in to the office between 2 and 3 days going forward. This has already made all enterprises re-engineer their business models due to the changes in working patterns and this is likely to be a strong opportunity for home improvement and home décor marketers.

With the growing wave of conscious conversation around mental health it was observed that 72% of Indians sought out mindfulness practices. This led to a new category with about 75% spending between INR 500 to INR 1000 a month on the same.

The report sketches the shift in the shopping experience and the boom experienced by the e-commerce industry. Post the lockdown, 67% of consumers still prefer shopping online as opposed to in a shopping mall or their local market. Further, the report covers how the discount-seeking and price sensitive Indian customers put various other elements above the amount they pay while shopping offline.

The closure of fitness centers and the increasing awareness about strong immunity to fight the pandemic, posed a challenge in the lives of individuals. They put their health goals into action. 77% kept up with their fitness routines during the course of the pandemic despite the unavailability of gyms through various ways and means giving rise to a market that can be explored and pioneered in the near future and thereafter as well.

Technology acted like a glue during the lockdown period to connect people and witnessed a plethora of opportunities that can be reaped in the coming future. Surprisingly, despite the issues operators face for their online reputation management, 83% of people who were covered in the survey were happy with their Internet Service Provider. Investment in Online Health Services saw some increased optimism as well.

While e-learning experienced a dramatic increase, with its flexibility and ease to access, a whopping 81% of the respondents stated that they will still choose classroom learning over e-learning.

The insights offered will act instrumental in ensuring that 2021 is all about growth for marketers across sectors, by giving them an idea on what the Indian consumer wants, what they should capitalize on, and what they should watch out for.

The entire report can be downloaded here

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