The Sachetization of Products:The FMCG Way of Serving the Underserved in Emerging Markets , Lessons for Digital Products?

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The Sachetization of Products: Serving the Underserved in Emerging Markets , Lessons for Digital Products

In the vast tapestry of global commerce, the term “sachetization” might seem like a humble stitch. Yet, within this simple concept lies a profound strategy that is reshaping the landscape of consumer goods, particularly in emerging markets. Sachetization represents a shift towards serving the underserved by offering products in small, affordable quantities – a strategy that is not only driving economic growth but also fostering inclusivity and empowerment.

The Rise of Sachetization

In many emerging economies, access to essential goods like personal care products, household cleaners, and food items has long been a challenge for low-income consumers. Traditional packaging formats, such as large bottles or bulk quantities, often priced these products out of reach for those with limited disposable income. This disparity led to a significant portion of the population being underserved or excluded from the benefits of modern consumer goods.

Enter sachetization: the practice of packaging products in small, single-use sachets that are affordable for even the most economically vulnerable segments of society. This innovative approach has its roots in necessity and ingenuity, born out of the need to make products accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Empowering the Underserved

At its core, sachetization is about more than just packaging; it’s about democratizing access to essential goods and services. By offering products in small, affordable quantities, companies are empowering consumers to purchase only what they need, when they need it, without the burden of high upfront costs.


  1. Unilever’s “Sunsilk” Shampoo Sachets in India: Unilever recognized the need for affordable hair care solutions in India and introduced sachet versions of their Sunsilk shampoo, making it accessible to millions of low-income consumers.
  2. Nestlé’s Maggi Seasoning Sachets in Africa: Nestlé’s Maggi brand offers seasoning sachets that provide affordable flavor enhancements for cooking, catering to the culinary needs of households across Africa.

Driving Economic Growth

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But the impact of sachetization extends beyond the realm of social welfare; it’s also driving significant economic growth in emerging markets. By tapping into previously underserved segments of the population, companies are unlocking new avenues for revenue generation and market expansion.

The affordability and convenience of sachetized products are fueling demand among a burgeoning consumer base, creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and job creation along the supply chain. From local manufacturers producing sachets to small-scale retailers selling these products in communities, sachetization is fostering economic resilience and self-reliance at the grassroots level.

Cross-Over Lessons: Sachetization of FMCG to Tech and Digital Products

The concept of sachetization, typically associated with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), offers unconventional yet powerful insights that can be applied to the digital and technology sectors. By embracing these principles, companies can revolutionize their approach to digital products and services, unlocking new opportunities for growth and inclusion. Let’s explore some unusual perspectives on how sachetization can be adapted to the digital realm:

1. Frugal Innovation:

Perspective: Sachetization embodies the spirit of frugal innovation, a concept often associated with resourcefulness and creativity in addressing complex challenges with limited resources.

Cross-Over to Tech and Digital Products: Embrace frugal innovation principles to develop digital solutions that are simple, efficient, and cost-effective, leveraging existing infrastructure and technology to reach underserved populations.

Example: In India, where internet penetration is uneven, Google’s “RailWire Wi-Fi” initiative provides free internet access at railway stations using existing rail infrastructure, enabling millions of users to access digital services without the need for expensive infrastructure investments.

2. Digital Inclusion:

Perspective: Sachetization can be viewed as a tool for digital inclusion, empowering marginalized communities to participate in the digital economy and access opportunities for social and economic advancement.

Cross-Over to Tech and Digital Products: Design digital products and services with inclusivity in mind, ensuring that they are accessible to users with diverse needs, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Example: Microsoft’s “Seeing AI” app uses artificial intelligence to provide audio descriptions of the physical world for visually impaired users, enhancing accessibility and independence through digital innovation.

3. Community Empowerment:

Perspective: Sachetization fosters community empowerment by decentralizing access to essential goods and services, empowering local entrepreneurs and grassroots organizations to become agents of change.

Cross-Over to Tech and Digital Products: Empower local communities to become digital innovators and problem solvers, providing them with the tools, training, and support they need to develop and deploy digital solutions tailored to their unique needs and challenges.

Example: The “Raspberry Pi” Foundation provides affordable, customizable computing devices and educational resources to schools and community organizations in developing countries, enabling them to teach digital skills and create locally relevant technology solutions.

4. Digital Resilience:

Perspective: Sachetization promotes digital resilience by fostering adaptability and flexibility in the face of changing circumstances, enabling users to access essential digital services even in challenging environments.

Cross-Over to Tech and Digital Products: Design digital products and services that are resilient to disruptions such as power outages, network failures, and natural disasters, ensuring continuity of access and functionality in adverse conditions.

Example: “Project Loon,” a Google initiative, uses high-altitude balloons to provide internet connectivity to remote and disaster-stricken areas, demonstrating the potential for innovative solutions to bridge digital divides and promote resilience.


By embracing these unconventional perspectives on sachetization, companies can reimagine their approach to digital products and services, unlocking new opportunities for growth, inclusion, and impact. Whether through frugal innovation, digital inclusion, community empowerment, or digital resilience, sachetization offers a powerful framework for driving positive change in the digital age. Through bold experimentation, collaboration, and creativity, companies can harness the transformative potential of sachetization to create a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all.