Companies across sectors in the GCC market are hurriedly firming up plans for new product launches, as market research agencies report signs of growth and recovery – or green shoots – in many sectors and retail networks have largely transformed to become ‘brick and click’ players.

Industry insiders, however, said the common theme that binds these new launches across sectors is ‘value proposition’, as they see the emergence of ‘economically prudent’ and ‘cautiously prodigal’ consumers in the post-pandemic, new normal marketplace.

“Of late, we have seen the nature of research shifting from largely an evaluation of where things are and how these could be better to running more innovation labs, researching new product ideas and looking at newer markets,” Himanshu Narang, founder, Silver Lining, a leading Dubai-based market research firm, told Arabian Business.

Himanshu Narang, founder, Silver Lining.

“We are seeing cautious optimism across sectors as organisations expect a faster economic turnaround. Green shoots can be observed in several sectors, mainly FMCG, real estate and retail.

“This optimism is [manifesting] in companies coming up with new launches and looking at new markets,” Narang said.

Several leading companies including Dabur International, IFFCO and Clorox have followed suit, hinting at immediate plans for unveiling of a range of new products.

“We will be expanding and extending our products in both the essential and non-essential categories with innovative natural solutions,” Rohit Jaiswal, COO, Dabur International, told Arabian Business.

Rohit Jaiswal, COO, Dabur International.

“We are also evaluating our entry into natural real fruit juices to cater to the increasing in-home consumption of juices and snacks in the new normal,” Jaiswal revealed.

The Dabur senior executive said the company will also continue to focus growing its Covid-specific launches such as the DAZZL shield home care range of products, Vatika sanitizing lotion, body wash, hair mist, Dabur Veggie Wash and Dermoviva hygiene range of products.

Farhan Khan, marketing director -Asia, Middle East and Africa of the US hygiene and wellness products major Clorox, noted how the pandemic has changed the type of products people are looking for to clean their surroundings.

“In the pre-Covid times, consumers were focused on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. During the pandemic, cross-contamination education from the government transformed their need towards cleaning and disinfecting in and outside home,” Khan told Arabian Business.

Farhan Khan, marketing director – AMEA Region, Clorox

Automobile and real estate are the other two major sectors that are expected to see a slew of new launches in the GCC region in the coming months, according to industry insiders.

A senior General Motors executive for the Middle East region told Arabian Business last week that the company was targeting double-digit growth this year.

GM’s “ambidextrous strategy” includes broadening its electric vehicle portfolio with the Bolt EUV and the Hummer EV both due to launch in the region this year.

Several leading real estate companies are also set to announce new projects in the coming months.

Expecting a faster economic rebound, companies are readying product launch plans in the wake of the accelerated vaccination drive in the region.

“As restrictions are lifted, we see consumers returning to supermarkets and malls, though with great caution. This is a positive sign for the FMCG brands in the region,” Jaiswal said.

The Dabur International COO also said in view of companies’ observing the emergence of ‘prudent’ and ‘cautiously prodigal’ consumers from an economic standpoint, Dabur will continue to improve its ‘value for money’ offerings as a strategy to deal with these consumer segments.

“Consumers have opened their purse strings now but are definitely seeking better value for money. The pandemic has changed something intrinsically in them and they are more cautious than ever. This is likely to stay,” Narang said.

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