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Parle-G is hugely popular among middle-income households because of its affordable price points. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Parle-G is hugely popular among middle-income households because of its affordable price points. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Parle Products clocks record sales during lockdown

  • The company's market share expanded by 500 bps and it registered better-than-expected growth during March to May
  • Overall biscuits as a category did well largely as families consumed more packaged snacks at home

NEW DELHI: Parle Products, the name behind the humble Parle-G biscuit brand that has been a household favorite for decades, saw its sales surge during India’s lockdown. Its popular cookies and value packs found favor with Indians who snacked up on its biscuits while they were stuck at home.

The company's market share expanded by 500 bps and it registered better-than-expected growth during March to May, said Mayank Shah, category head, Parle Products.

“It was primarily because of increase in demand—consumption was high because people bought more during the lockdown, made new dishes and hoarded food, as a result snacking occasions in India went up," said Shah. “As a result of the high growth Parle as a company has gained market share of over 500 bps," he said.

The news was first reported by The Economic Times.

Shah said that overall biscuits as a category did well, largely as families consumed more packaged snacks at home. Moreover, on-the-move migrants relied on its value packs for sustenance. Parle-G is hugely popular among middle-income households because of its affordable price points.

“Even other players have done well—we were able to get our act together and registered one of the best times in the history of the company," he said.

Rival Britannia Industries, too, sold more packs of biscuits in April and May, posting a 20% and 28% growth in sales, respectively. This was on account of increased in-home consumption for its brands.

Shah said the company also registered “strong" growth in its premium Platina range of cookies—that includes Hide & Seek and Milano brand of cookies. “We saw good growth rates there too. There was pantry loading happening. Because biscuits have a long shelf life, so people stocked up," he said.

Despite the disruption seen in movement and sales of packaged consumer goods, several companies, especially those that have a large portfolio of staples and everyday household items, performed well as nervous shoppers stocked up on household goods during India’s protracted lockdown.

This was especially true for categories such as packaged rice, cooking oil, wheat flour, snacks, and noodles.

Shah said the company got permission to kickstart production within two days of the lockdown; and over the following week several of its factories resumed function. It also moved to gradually ensure its supply chain, such as procurement of raw materials and packaging material started working.

“What happened was when lockdown was announced, immediately in the next two days we were up and running because food was categorized as essential; and in about a week’s time about 80% of our facilities were up and running."

Parle Products makes biscuits at 130 units, of which a bulk are contract manufacturers.

Parle was set up in 1929 and is among India’s largest biscuit makers. Parle-G has been declared as the world’s largest-selling biscuit brand on several occasions.

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