Parle G witnesses record-breaking sales amidst Covid-19 lockdown

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

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The classic Indian biscuit brand Parle G, which had witnessed a significant slump in sales last year, said that record-breaking sales have been achieved during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

According to the media reports, Parle Products, the creators of the Parle-G label, declined to reveal their specific sales statistics, but they affirmed that during March, April and May the company experienced the best months in their eight decades of operations.

“We’ve grown our overall market share by nearly 5 per cent... And 80– 90 per cent of this growth has come from Parle-G sales. This is unprecedented,” Mayank Shah, category head at Parle Products, was quoted as saying by various news portals.

The sales spiked as Parle G was included in the distribution of many other essential items.

“Consumers were taking whatever was available - be it premium or economy priced. Some players may have focused more on premium value SKUs as well,” said Anuj Sethi, senior director, Crisil Ratings, cited in a report in DNA. “Players had been focusing on enhancing distribution reach, especially in rural areas in the past 18-24 months; this worked well for them during the pandemic,” he added.

The company also restocked its distribution channels within a week to ensure the availability of the product during the lockdown.

Speaking on the tactics adopted by the company during the lockdown phase, Mayank Shah said to media: “During the lockdown, Parle-G became the comfort food for many; and for several others it was the only food they had on them. This is a common man’s biscuit; people who cannot afford bread – buy Parle-G.”

“We had several state governments requisitioning us for biscuits… they were in constant touch with us, asking about our stock positions. Several NGOs bought humongous quantities from us. We were lucky to have restarted production from March 25 onwards,” he added.

Over 80-year-old biscuit brand currently has 130 factories all over India with 120 of them continuously producing units while 10 are owned premises.

The Parle-G brand falls under the ‘below-₹100 per kg’ affordable/value category, which holds one-third of the total industry revenues and accounts for over 50 per cent of the volume sold. “Premiumisation in biscuits needs to be seen in comparison with other categories within food - such as chips, chocolates, and soft drinks; most of these are more expensive than biscuits,” claimed Sethi.

“So consumers make these trade-offs in the overall food category - rather than within biscuits. That has led to a rise in premium biscuits consumption,” he added.

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Published on June 10, 2020
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