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Last Updated : Apr 10, 2020 05:26 PM IST | Source:

COVID-19 impact | Not just essentials, demand for packaged foods also surges

Consumers were mainly stocking up processed items such as chips, nachos, namkeen, biscuits, among others.

As they prepared for weeks of lockdown during coronavirus pandemic, consumers stocked up on not just essentials but also packaged/processed foods.

Experts said demand for packaged foods surged as people consider it to be comfort food and hygienic. Some experts believe salted snacks gained more binge value as limited options became available.

According to Nielsen India research, from February to mid-March, orders of salty snacks went up by 84 percent, soft drinks and biscuits went up by 68 percent and 31 percent, respectively, on an e-commerce platform.


Consumers were mainly stocking up processed items such as chips, nachos, namkeen, biscuits, among others. Easy-to-cook products such as noodles, pastas were also picked up in bulk by consumers.

Also, consumers preferred vegetarian food over non-veg in the current situation.

This has turned out to be a boon for retailers who are able to clear up inventories of all food items.

Demand for essentials also spiked over the last month. Within the food category, e-commerce saw 106 percent growth in orders of cooking oil followed by 21 percent in cooking medium (spices, salt and ghee etc) from February to mid-March 2020. Orders of packaged flour went up by 16 percent.

Nielsen data also showed on the traditional trade branded pulses saw a growth of 72 percent in February to mid-March 2020 as against 16 percent in 2019. Packaged flour saw growth of 25 percent in 2020 compared to 20 percent growth each in 2019 and 2018.

In the FMCG category, 8 percent growth was seen in February 2020, food category saw 10 percent growth and non-food categories witnessed 5 percent growth.

The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has spread across 184 countries and territories. Today is the 17th day of India's 21-day lockdown. Reports suggest that the lockdown could be extended.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stands at 6,412. The Union Health Ministry has said that 199 people have died due to the disease.

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First Published on Apr 10, 2020 05:25 pm
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