Indian consumer spending trends: Younger generations seek pleasure, preventive health on the rise among parents

November 23, 2023

Despite financial instability, 50% of Indian consumers are focusing on enjoying the present moment and making financial decisions that emphasize immediate gratification. According to new Mintel research, younger men, in particular, express a greater inclination toward indulgence, with 68% of Gen Z urban males spending money each month on clothing and accessories, compared to 54% of Gen Zs overall.

However, the concept of indulgence varies with age and city tiers. According to the research, individuals aged over 45 show an increased preference for spending on health and wellness products compared to other age groups. Additionally, 49% of women from Tier 3 cities are allocating more of their budget towards shopping for beauty and personal care products.

Saptarshi Banerjee, Senior Lifestyle Analyst, Mintel Reports India, said: “Consumers are seeking relief from ongoing stress amid rising prices due to global inflation. Therefore, many are now embracing a more pleasure-focused approach to life as observed in our research. They are looking for affordable indulgences that can bring comfort and solace without being too hard on their wallets.

“The abundance of fashion retail outlets and the wide array of available brands, we’re seeing increased fashion spending among younger urbanites. Fashion brands can extend this to online channels by tapping into the aspirational drive and the growing trend of low-tier affluent consumers shopping online and offering their products through e-commerce platforms.” 

However, Mintel research indicates a shift in spending habits of the younger demographic on the horizon: 60% of Gen Zs are more likely to cut back on clothing and accessories in the next three-to-12 months than on dining out (52%) or beauty/grooming products (50%). Banerjee noted that as the fast fashion industry faces heightened scrutiny over sustainability concerns, apparel and accessory brands may find more success by emphasizing durability and reusability. “Sustainability can effectively resonate with even price-conscious shoppers when it is coupled with cost savings,” he added.

Urban parents prioritise health and wellness spending for financial security

As medical emergency costs continue to rise, consumers are placing greater emphasis on preventive healthcare. Fathers are allocating a substantial portion of their expenses to health and wellness products, driven by the necessity to be prepared for medical emergencies (43% in 2023 vs. 35% in 2022). However, this increased focus on health and wellness is not exclusive to fathers; mothers are also contributing to this significant surge in spending (46% in 2023 vs. 26% in 2022) on a monthly basis.

This trend is prevalent among both working (48%) and non-working mothers (46%), as compared to non-parents (32%). Furthermore, there is a growing trend of health and wellness spending across city tiers, particularly among 42% of urban consumers and 45% of Tier 3 consumers.

Banerjee noted, “The majority of urban consumers (40%) recognize the importance of investing in preventive healthcare solutions, such as spending on vitamins and minerals (VMS) and attending health check-ups. The same proportion of those who claim to ‘get by financially but don’t have much left by the time the basics are taken care of’ are also more eager to invest in preventive healthcare to mitigate potential unforeseen medical expenses in the future.

“Moreover, mothers, in addition to fathers, are actively allocating a significant portion of their monthly spending towards health and wellness for the sake of fostering a healthy family unit. Brands that offer tailored VMS solutions catering to the needs of the entire family, from kids to adults, along with pre-packaged food options, can capture the interest of parents, particularly mothers, who are spending more on health and wellness products.”

Additional research on Indian consumer spending priorities and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

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