As traditional supply chain gets disrupted, FMCG players try new modes to reach customers

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 04, 2020

With the traditional retail supply chain wrecked by the national lockdown, FMCG companies have found a new way to ensure the delivery of essential products directly to consumers. While

Marico has partnered with online food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato, ITC has roped in pizza delivery brand Domino’s Pizza.

“We are working towards ensuring the availability and easy access of essential food items to consumers. In an effort towards this, we have partnered with Swiggy and Zomato to provide Saffola and Coco Soul products to individuals’ doorstep in a safe manner,” said Sanjay Mishra, Chief Operating Officer- India Sales & Bangladesh Business, Marico Limited.

The 21-day national lockdown has wrecked the traditional supply chain for retailers. Industry experts said that the footfalls at organised retail outlets have fallen drastically and local kirana stores are not equipped to handle huge demand for home delivery.

Even online players like Amazon and Flipkart have had to stop taking fresh orders as they could not meet the surge in demand. “The traditional network of retail shops, kirana stores and online e-commerce platforms are not being able to cater to the situation arising out of the lockdown. Therefore, FMCG companies are looking for alternative routes to reach consumers directly. If this succeeds we could see new forms of supply chain where retail outlets become redundant,” said an industry expert.

“ We have redoubled our efforts to expand the availability of food products by leveraging various avenues and channels that connect seamlessly with consumers, “ said Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive, Foods Division, ITC Ltd. The delivery infrastructure of Domino’s will be leveraged to help customers order everyday grocery essentials offered by ITC Foods.

But FMCG players not making all their products available through the new route.

For example, ITC is offering a combo pack of Aashirvaad Atta and Spices including chili, coriander and turmeric powder on Domino’s app. This service will be available for consumers first in Bengaluru and then in the cities of Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.This first-of-its-kind, unique partnership between a QSR and a FMCG company.

In the case of Marico, consumers can order essential food items under the Marico portfolio - Saffola Oils, Saffola Plain Oats, Saffola Masala Oats and Coco Soul Virgin coconut oil. This service is available on Zomato in Delhi NCR and Bangalore. It will be activated in other cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad starting next week. The Swiggy stores have started the delivery in Gurgaon and the service will be extended to rest of Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai this weekend.

Vivek Sunder, Chief Operating Officer, Swiggy, said, “ Swiggy will leverage and engage its extensive delivery fleet to ensure that essential products such as cooking oil and oats reach consumers quickly and in a safe manner. We are sure that this association will deliver immense value to our customers especially in this time of need.”

Online grocery store Big Basket has partnered with Uber India to deliver essentials to customers. This will enable Bigbasket to serve its customers across four cities- Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Noida.

“This last-mile delivery service provides multiple wins. It supports authorities in containing covid-19, delivers essential supplies in a timely manner to customers and creates earning opportunities for drivers. We will not charge any commissions for our efforts," said Prabhjeet Singh, Director-Operations and Head of Cities, Uber India & South Asia.

Published on April 04, 2020

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