Rise in sale of biscuits amid COVID-19 lockdown

-Avishek Sengupta

The country wide lockdown that has created a vacuum of fresh vegetables, meat and fish in the market came as a blessing in disguise for biscuit industries.

The Indian biscuit industry has reportedly received a boost, with companies reporting booming sales during the lockdown, as migrant workers, NGOs and consumers scrambled to stock up on the packaged food.

According to media reports, Parle Products, the maker of affordable glucose biscuit Parle-G, said it clocked the highest sales volumes in eight decades in March, April and May; ITC, which sells biscuits under the Sunfeast brand, said that its sales numbers have been unprecedented during the period.

“Not only Parle-G, sales of our other brands, such as Platina, have also grown during the lockdown”, Mayank Shah, category head at Parle Products has been quoted as saying to the media.

Shah added, “Biscuit is a comfort food and all other companies in the category would have witnessed high growth.”

Hemant Malik, divisional chief executive, foods division, at ITC told media that the company witnessed an unprecedented surge in demand for its differentiated offerings in the biscuit segments.

Parle-G’s scorching sales came on the back of Shah’s scathing comments on the high GST levied on biscuits, which drew sharp criticism from the government.

Just before the COVID-19 induced lockdown, with consumers cutting down on consumption, growth for the biscuit industry was slashed by half in the period between April 2019 and January 2020, according to senior industry executives who quoted data from Nielsen.

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