Apart from Parle G, the company said that its premium biscuits Hide and Seek and Milano saw the highest sales.

Parle G clocks best sales in over eight decades during COVID-19 lockdownImage source: Deepak Trivedi via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Money Retail Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 19:20

Parle G, a household brand of biscuits, has recorded its best sales ever in the past three months amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The company also claims to have grown highest among all biscuit makers present in the country, with its market share increasing by 4-5%.

Mayank Shah, category head at Parle Products said that while the company cannot disclose sales figures, it has been the highest in eight decades, with Parle biscuits now holding a market share of 32% in India’s biscuits segment.

“Parle has grown highest among all companies, even the large ones with over Rs 1,000 crore turnover,” he added.

The demand for Parle G biscuits was a lot higher than the supply, Mayank said, adding that there were several instances where the biscuits were unavailable in stores as people were hoarding. As millions of migrant workers were commuting to their homes, these biscuits were bought in large quantities by governments, NGOs and others to distribute among them.

“Parle G is comfort food as well. So, if you don’t get it, that’s an issue. So, whenever they found it, they were buying in large quantities. In some cases when I went to stores, I had to tell people to please buy only 5-10 packets and not buy a lot at a time,” Mayank added.

According to the company, the surge in demand began from before the lockdown. “Two to three week before the lockdown, the more evolved customers, who heard of the coronavirus situation in other countries leading to hoarding, were buying Parle G and other Parle biscuits in large quantities,” Mayank says.

The second phase of increased sales was one week before the lockdown when there was news of possible restrictions being put in place. Following this, the first few days of the lockdown also saw a huge rush of customers looking to pantry load. Increased sales, Mayank says, continued through the lockdown.

Not just Parle G, Parle Products saw record sales for its entire biscuits division, including the premium segment. Apart from Parle G, premium biscuits Hide and Seek biscuits and Milano saw the highest sales, Mayank says.

Parle Products has a range of popular biscuit brands including Krack Jack, Marie biscuits, Monaco, Milano, among others. However, Parle G is its top selling brand and was also reportedly also considered the world’s largest selling biscuit brand in 2003, with a major part of its sales coming from rural areas.

Parle was founded in 1929 and has over 130 manufacturing units across the country, including 10 company-owned plants.

Despite the surge in demand, Mayank says that apart from initial hiccups, the company was able to cater to demand, being classified as an essential service. It was able to keep operations running across its factories to cater to the massive demand.  

Also read: Biscuits, snacks and instant noodles may disappear from store shelves again

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