Elections are coming, and snack makers are excited

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Packaged food and beverage companies are stepping up supplies on the ground ahead of the coming general election, as large rallies and outdoor gatherings raise demand for low-priced biscuits, snacks and beverages.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced dates for the 2024 Lok Sabha election on 16 March. Voting will start on 19 April, and go on till 1 June, across seven phases.

“With the upcoming elections and the dates declared, we are expecting some buoyancy in the market and good spending on ground. Consumers also get more disposable incomes, different parties dole out freebies or even cash. For our category, it does have an impact. We will have to wait and watch. But it will be positive, given the number of rallies. Wherever rallies happen, we see a large congregation of people,” said Krishnarao Buddha, senior category head, Parle Products.

Election months typically see a 10-15% jump in demand for the company’s brands as out-of-home mobility increases. “Accordingly, we are gearing up to stock as well,” he said. Parle Products sells brands such as Parle-G biscuits and Hide & Seek cookies.

Dairy cooperative Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets dairy products under the Amul brand said the general election, coupled with a strong summer, will help in an uptick in demand for low-priced beverages such as shakes, lassi and even ice-creams.

“Any economic activity has a direct impact on business. Large congregations—be it religious, political or even melas help the sale of soft drinks and other beverages. This is especially true in rural areas and among low-income classes,” said Jayen Mehta, managing director, GCMMF. The company has also bolstered its range of beverages this summer where it sells drinks priced Rs10, Rs15 and Rs20 and above.

Typically, national and regional parties organize large rallies ahead of state and general elections that result in large congregations pan-India. The period also sees greater outdoor mobility—especially among low income groups as voters attend political rallies.

Distributors said early summers and elections could drive up demand for chips, low-priced packs of cookies and beverages in the next quarter. The move particularly benefits local players that sell at Rs5, Rs10 and Rs15 price brackets.

“The season has anyway started strong with early summers, so yes, elections and rallies will benefit companies in the upcoming quarter. This will largely have an impact on demand for packaged foods and not so much personal care or household items. So, no doubt that certain categories will benefit from greater demand since there is also more liquidity in certain pockets of the market,” said Dhairyashil Patil, president, All India Consumer Products Distributors’ Federation (AICPDF).

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Pooja Gupta

CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, M.com) having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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