Decision making is always considered as the cognitive process. It includes beliefs, identifying, and choosing alternatives based on values, knowledge, research, and preferences of decision-makers. It can be both easy and difficult, for a decision-maker, to make choice. And, if the choice is to be made for health and wellness, a decision-maker is always very picky and careful. In marketing, decision-makers are always consumers. Nowadays, a large portion of consumers is cutting themselves away from using unhealthy and unhygienic products. Local products, Natural and Organic products, especially in food and beverage sectors, are high on demand. Food and Beverages product category includes Packed food, fruits and vegetables, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Agri products, etc. These sectors include both big brands and local players in their buckets.
Pros of Using Brands
- Ease in Purchase – Purchasing branded products are always easy. A branded product is different from others in terms of name, logo, symbol, design, and are easily available in the market.
- Variety of Products – Today, the market is bombarded with different brands having an almost similar quality of products. This allows consumers to have varieties of good quality products.
- Trustworthy and Peace of Mind – Consumers always want satisfaction, happiness, and comfort in their lives, and thus their purchasing habits are based on such parameters. Brands provide services like customer interaction through feedback, chatbots, social media, refund or replacement offers, etc. Brands also allow the customer to take legal action against any forgery if found. If the brands carry positive experience, consumer forms an opinion of trustworthiness and a sense of satisfaction which brings peace of mind.
- Status Quo – Using branded merchandise sets a customer in a specific economic category. The society is divided into groups based on the economic category, using a branded product can let you be a part of such groups.
- Confidence in Experience – A consumer buying decision can rely on public word of mouth, lucrative advertisements, previous purchasing experience and, etc. The first time purchasing, by the customer, is always done with the hopes of experiencing better quality products. The services and qualities provided by the brands bring more confidence and make customers loyal to the brands.
- Quality – Brands are improving their quality based on the customers’ preferences. Brands do not compromise with the quality irrespective of the cost of products. It never means higher the cost better the quality. It is the quality of a brand which makes them unique and the customer loves this uniqueness because it allows customers to know their expectation from the company.
Cons of Using Brands
- Use of Chemicals – Food and Beverage Industry uses some of the chemicals like Phthalates, Bisphenols, Perchlorates, Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals (PFCs). Phthalates are a group of chemicals that increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. They are known as an endocrine disruptor and are responsible for breast cancer and birth defect in males and females. Bisphenols can increase body fat and cause a problem with the immune system and nervous system. It is commonly used in food and soda cans, sippy cups, etc. Perchlorates interfere with thyroid functions and can disorder early brain development. Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals are responsible for decrease in immunity, low fertility and cause thyroid problems too. It is commonly found in cardboard packaging and other commercial household products.
- Preservatives – The preservatives which are commonly used by food and beverage industries are Parabens, Formaldehyde, Sodium Benzoate, etc. These preservatives are responsible for causing some of the serious diseases like breast tumors, nasal cancer, low immunity, obesity, skin allergies, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
- Artificial Colors – Food and Beverage industries use artificial colors which are mainly synthesized from petroleum byproducts. Artificial coloring can root to allergies, sleep deprivation, irritability, depression, memory loss, congestion of kidneys, and other diseases too.
- Artificial Sweeteners – Added sugars are widely used by food and beverage industries to increase flavor or shelf life of products. The added sugar can be one of the reasons for obesity, diabetes, and heart problem too.
Pros of Using Local Products
- Fresh and Pure – Local food items are picked up directly from farmers and are free from chemicals, artificial or added elements. They do not need to transport a lot. They are easily available in the nearby farmer’s market. Local produce should be consumed as early as possible because it is not preserved.
- Local Products are Seasonal – Food and fruits grown by farmers are seasonal, they can not grow all fruits and foods in all seasons. seasonal food consumption can bring variety in your diet along with proper nutrition and other health benefits.
- Boosts Local Economy – Purchasing locally builds the local economy, i.e. growth of the micro and smaller sectors. These sectors contribute a great part in the country’s GDP and help in improving per capita income too.
- Health Benefits – Local products are free from artificial colors, flavors, sugars. They are completely natural and healthy. They are responsible for fulfilling the nutrition gap in the body, increasing immunity, maintaining eyesight, lowering the risk of diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
- Low Cost – purchasing local products are always pocket friendly. Customers are saving the cost of packaging, processing, transportation, and distribution channels.
- Environment-friendly – Local products do not need to go through transportation, preservation, and processing. They are thus lowering the emission of carbon and other harmful gases and helping to make a better environment.
Cons of Local Products
- Low Shelf Life – Local products are directly picked up from farmers and thus they can not sustain for a longer duration. Their shelf life is low because of no added preservatives.
- Price Fluctuation – Price fluctuation is very common with local products. This depends on external factors like low production, tax increment, fertilizer’s price, and other such. Sometimes the price goes very high and sometimes very low.
- Seasonal Availability – Local products are available seasonally. In this case, they fail to fulfill the customer’s demand all year.
- No Quality Monitoring – There is no such organization available to monitor the quality of local products.
Health is one of the biggest gifts to humans. This is our responsibility to maintain it. We are only responsible for any illness. With this writing, I tried to draw attention to our food habits. We must choose wisely whether branded products or local products to be added to our food habit. The purchase time will almost be the same. All we need to do is a little effort to come out of our comfort zone.