Diwali, the principal hindu holiday – marked by victory of good over evil, is just around the corner. Indians around the world gravitate towards their roots and celebrate the festival with loved ones by exchanging gifts and revelling in festivities together. The culture of gifting during celebrations has become a norm in many cultures around the world, and Diwali, is no exception. With the approaching holidays, the market is adorning itself in festive colors and decorations with gifting products seeking to grab buyers’ attention.
However, the rapid rise of consumerism has brought a dramatic change in the gifting trends during Diwali in India. Edible products remain a favorite when it comes to Diwali gifts. Traditional Indian sweets used to hold significant prominence and still bring a measure of authenticity to the gifting culture; but slowly, chocolates and dry fruits packaged in premium boxes are gaining preference. The shift from traditional sweets can be due to the fact that items like chocolates, brownies, and dry fruits last longer. Increasing Westernization of Indian culture is also a major contributor to this change.
As the countdown to Diwali begins, super stores such as Big Bazaar in Noida are already decked with festive gift options by different brands under one roof spoiling buyers for choice.
Keeping market trends in mind, brands are packaging their products in carton packaging with multiple layers inside in order to promote them as premium products for gifting. Chocolate manufacturers such as Cadbury have introduced a new range of assorted chocolate boxes. Apart from its well known Cadbury Celebrations, the brand has introduced a premium Dairy Milk Silk range which comes in a purple and gold toned carton featuring a minimalist design showing the the four flavors inside – classic, almond, sea salt, and butterscotch under the name, ‘24 premium miniatures.’ Opening the lid reveals a four-panelled plastic case holding the bite-sized chocolates wrapped in flexible packaging in green, yellow, blue, and purple. The carton packaging in Cadbury’s traditional colors containing individually wrapped chocolates in bright colors lend a premium flavour to the giftpack prices at a still affordable Rs. 465.
Ferrero Rocher remains the dominant player in the premium branded chocolate industry in India. The plastic hard case of chocolate revealing its truffles wrapped in golden foil is a classic premium chocolate preferred most by buyers who want to play it safe. Looking at its current traction, Ferrero is looking to invest around Rs. 2,000 crore in India over the next three years to create a hub for developing products with higher melting points, according to news reports.
Apart from chocolates, dry fruit is the traditional premium gift option during Diwali. Karmiq by Future Consumer offers assorted flavored dry fruit such as California almonds, cashews, and Indian raisins in carton packaging similar to luxury chocolate boxes. The laminated carton packaging with vibrant colors blends right in with premium chocolate packaging.
Windsor Chocolatier, a Belgian chocolate house in Delhi established in 2013, offers premium gourmet food. The chocolates by Windsor are handmade and claimed to use the ‘very best ingredients.’ The brand offers chocolates in five forms – bars, callets, lolipop, chocolate lolipop and truffle chocolate. One of the main attractions of the brand is the range of packaging options available to buyers. Buyers can choose from prepared gifting chocolate boxes in carton packaging such as golden gift box, festive gift box, truffle box, standard box, royal premium box in different sizes.
The silver box by Windsor is its most premium product. Chocolate truffles are packaged in an ornate silver box resembling a treasure chest. The prices of the carton boxes start from Rs. 400 and varying according to the chocolate units, can go up to Rs. 2000. Windsor offers customizable options in its chocolates as well as packaging options adding heavily to its USP.
However, Cadbury takes the cake in terms of customized packaging. Cadbury launched Cadbury Joy Deliveries, a store that offers personlalized packaging for special occasions. Customers are presented with an option to get the names of their loved ones printed on the plastic and cardboard sleeve and get a picture printed on the back with a message. The customizable packaging is available in its chocolate series — Bournville and Silk. Buyers can either get a single personalized unit or multiple units in a carton box. The store charges INR 100 for personalized packaging. Cadbury’s premium chocolates combined with personalized packaging makes a unique strategy for a population that keeps its eyes peeled for innovation in product experience.
Indian traditional food manufaturer, Bikano offers gift hampers of their product packs in a basket with a bow on top for festive season. The hamper contains products such as traditional sweets, namkeen, cookies and snacks. Starting from Rs. 500, the gift hampers were seen lined up on counters in the confectionery section of Big Bazaar, Noida.