As campaigning for Lok Sabha elections intensify, Snacks and beverage companies expects a boost in their sales

Biscuits, snacks, beverages and telecom companies are expecting a boost in their sales during the upcoming General Election 2019.

Elections will be conducted in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. Some 8,000 contestants are expected to contest the 543 Lok Sabha seats.

Senior official of Parle Products(India’s largest biscuit company by volume) said,”This is definitely an additional opportunity for out-of-home consumption.”

Also added that they expect additional growth of 4-5% during the months of election.

Companies are ready to benefit from this Election season in all possible manner, from increasing inventory and delivering at odd hours to offering discounts and launching campaigns urging people to vot.

Parag Desai, Executive Director of Wagh Bakri(India’s third-largest tea company) said,”Chai pe charcha or tea party theme will also help build platforms for discussions and debate on politics over a cup of tea”.

Previously, in the 2014 General Elections, the overall consumer goods volume declined 2% in the April-June quarter, which was the worst in a decade.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, an international company dealing in consumer knowledge and insights based on continuous consumer panels, the tea segment fell 2.4% while biscuits declined 7.8% in terms of household consumption during the months of April and May, i.e. during the elections.

Bisleri International, which is India’s largest packaged water maker, told that sales have almost flattened out, but on a national level the election rallies present an opportunity to reach concentrated consumers.

With the pacing consumer goods market, which is growing in double digits, companies expect a significantly higher uptick in demand, at least in these categories, as compared to 2014.

Gunjan Shah, Vice President of Britannia said,”We expect small unit size packs in particular to have a large potential for pickups during this time. Our urban and and rural channels are fully stocked and ready to service any upsurge in demand in the upcoming weeks leading to elections.”

With Elections to be commenced in peak summer, soft drink companies are considered to step up distribution and promotional activity around rallies.

Coca-Cola Global CEO, James Quincey told ETin an interview that, “People tend to spend a little extra money in the run- up to the elections, which flows into the economy, but consumption tends to be ‘disruptive’ in the week of voting.”

A report by market research firm Nielsen said that India’s FMCG sector is expected to grow 11-12% in 2019, which is slower than 13.8% in 2018 because of the higher base.

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