Several supermarkets across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai have run out of stock as consumers rushed to buy one of the easiest things to cook: instant noodles.

As India stocks up for lockdown Maggi and other instant noodles fly off the shelves
Money Coronavirus Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 09:42

With people across the country being asked to stay home for the past few weeks and several cities now going on a strict lockdown, grocery stores and supermarkets have been crowded with people rushing to stock up a supply of essential items.

But one food item that has been flying off the shelves for the past week or two has been instant noodles. From Nestle’s Maggi, to ITC’s Yippee noodles and Nissin’s Top Ramen, Wai Wai noodles and Ching’s, several supermarkets across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai ran out of stock

“Apart from rice and wheat, instant noodles and food packets are being sold the most right now,” a supermarket manager in Mumbai told TNM.

According to the manager, the demand is highest for Maggi, followed by Top Ramen and Yippee.

“It almost looks like people have looted the store,” a young professional from Bengaluru said when she visited the supermarket to buy Maggi.


Maggi runs out of stock in a supermarket (Image source: Abhimanyu Kulkarni)

While Nestle has declined to comment on whether it has seen a spike in sales for Maggi, some distributors have said that there has been a hike in demand.

Meanwhile, sources in ITC said that there is a large growing demand for Yippee noodles. “In fact, after Ashirwad Atta, Yippee is the item with the largest demand at the moment in ITC’s food portfolio,” the source said, adding that the company has ramped up production across its manufacturing facilities for Yippee, as well as its other items in demand.

“A lot of effort is going into the manufacture and in trying to ensure items reach the market with lesser people working since food is an essential commodity,” the person added.

Radha Krishna, a distributor based out of Chennai, who is also a member of Federation of All India Distributors Association (FAIDA), said that there is an increase in demand for instant noodles.

“Yes, there is an increase in demand for instant noodles because the situation is like that. There is a demand for all readymade and packaged foods. Till last week, we have been able to manage the demand. What is going to happen this week, nobody knows. Most of the FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) distributors are enforcing lockdown from today,” Radha Krishna said.

A Hyderabad-based distributor, who distributes for Nestle, said that there is always a high demand for Maggi but is not sure if there has been any special demand in the last few weeks. However, he says that several orders are coming now but they aren’t able to supply since Maggi is not an essential item.

However, a Mumbai-based distributor denied there being any unusual spike in demand.

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