There has been a steep increase in sales of essentials from kirana stores. It was as high as 30 per cent per of consumers in mid-March onwards, and then further rose by another 30 per cent by March end.

But in the past few weeks, it recorded a slight dip even though it is still high (40 per cent more than usual), according to a report by SnapBizz.

The report, which outlined FMCG consumer buying patterns from India in during the Covid-19 outbreak, attributes the spike in mid-March to panic buying followed by a low-spell till Easter weekend. Post which, the sales improved.

This steep rise was also because more people stayed at home and cooked at home, and more premium products being pushed by retailers due to more availability and margins.

The study also found a decline in the number of Kirana stores operating ever since the lockdown took effect for various reasons. These included interference from police, lack of staff or lack of supplies.

SnapBizz Founder and CEO Prem Kumar said: “In this current time of lockdown, we have been witnessing the steady and continued operations of local Kirana stores. They have been trying their best to keep their stores open, selling whatever they have been supplied with at best prices without taking advantage of the situation.”

Supply chain shift

During the lockdown period, consumers are chasing retailers for supplies, while the retailers are chasing the distributors and brands for replenishments.

SnapBizz is backed by venture capital firms such as Jungle Ventures, Taurus, Blume Ventures and strategic investors such as Nielsen, Qualcomm, AUO and Ratan Tata. It has raised over $12 million over Seed and in a Series A round.