Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets products under the brand Amul, on Wednesday said people eating at home has boosted the dairy demand in the country during the nationwide lockdown.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, RS Sodhi, the managing director, said, "When people are sitting at home, they are consuming more food, better food, better brand and better quality products from trusted brands."
“Demand for trusted, affordable, quality, packed food has increased tremendously. Our paneer, cheese, milk demand increased. Earlier, there were small brands or not-known brands who were manipulating the trade or retailers, or people were buying loose paneer. But during the lockdown, the consumer has become aware about buying safe products," Sodhi said.
Speaking about sales, he said, "Hotel/restaurant/caterers definitely suffered. It was zero, but now it has come to 10-15 percent. Paneer increased by 30-40 percent. We could not meet the demand and same is in case of cheese. But household demand for cheese increased by 70-80 percent. So, overall cheese sale increased by 30 percent."
He further said, "In rural areas, tier-II and tier-III cities, smaller packs are moving more. However, in bigger cities, people do not want to shop frequently, so they go for bigger packs."
Speaking about the milk procurement prices, Sodhi said, "States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, procurement prices crashed. In Maharashtra, before COVID-19, farmers were getting Rs 30-32 a litre for cow milk, which crashed to Rs 21-22 a litre. The state government intervened and requested Amul, so we doubled our milk procurement. So, prices have now increased to Rs 25-26 a litre."
Sodhi said opening of sweet and ice cream shops is a positive sign, "However, he said it will take a month for milk prices to recover to pre-COVID levels.
According to Sodhi, this is the best time to launch new healthy products, “Consumer will try any food product which is healthy. If it adds immunity, chances are better. Consumers are now buying reliable brands and Amul is matching that."