PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN: advantage packaged Food product manufacturers
Food Marketing & Technology - India|August 2020
PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN: advantage packaged Food product manufacturers
“Pankaj Mahajan lives in Noida with his dietitian wife – Rohini and two teenaged children Rahul and Rashmi.
P. Rajan Mathews

Pankaj had the habit of buying household groceries in the beginning of every month along with his two children at the nearby Reliance Mart and Big Bazaar stores. Along with the regular detergents and soap, staples, pulses, cooking oil, and spices, Pankaj and his two children buy the ready to eat snacks such as biscuits, wafers, and extruded snacks for the late-night snacking of his teenaged children. Pankaj also buys Dairy products such as ice-cream, cheese, butter, and packs of milkshakes and lassi and Rashmi who is interested in making desserts buys cake mixes and her regular Maggie and Ching's noodles along with hakka noodle packs and their seasonings. Pankaj and his son Rahul who do not have any culinary skills buy some of the new generation products such as ready to cook spice mixes, ready to cook breakfasts, and meal products whenever they wanted to try their hand at cooking especially when their cook takes her to leave each month. Just prior to the pandemic lockdown started on 25th April 2020 Pankaj and his children carried out a last-minute purchases to stock all their monthly food stocks and favorite ready to eat and cook products. This stocking has lasted them over the extended period and during this extended lockdown they did not have to go out buy any grocery and had to only buy their regular vegetables from Safal and non-veg from the nearby stores. During this Pandemic lockdown, his son’s birthday was well celebrated with his daughter making a chocolate cake for the birthday and Pankaj prepared Hyderabadi Dum Chicken Biryani from the Ready to cook spice mix. Pankaj’s wife who considers herself as a good cook never accepted these ready to cook spice mixes but during the birthday celebrations, she appreciated the Hyderabadi Dum Chicken Biryani made by her husband. During this extended Pandemic Lockdown the family has relied more on the new generation of packaged foods as there was no domestic help and all household chores were being done by the house lady it was inevitable that Pankaj and his son had to lend their hand in cooking and cleaning. Thus the family has now become an ardent user of all the new generation food products are look forward for using more of these products after the pandemic lockdown.”

During this Extended Pandemic Lockdown when all are to stay at home, one of the major essential is the Daily Food to be made with no Domestic help or Cooks coming regularly and also prepared food cannot be ordered from the nearby hotels/restaurants and eateries. The consequence of this being that the families and bachelors have to cook for themselves and the load on the house-lady gets more with children and all at home with no domestic help. Its more difficult for the bachelors and the less culinary skilled persons ( more dependent on the outside food ) to prepare food at home and hence they will have to rely more on the Ready to Cook food products, snacks, instant mixes, and many processed foods including breakfast cereals and the next generation packaged food products which require less culinary skills. Usually, these products are purchased for exigency demands from children or with unexpected guests coming home. If one were to visit the stores today, the shelves of Snacks, ready to cook products such as instant noodles, instant breakfasts, instant meals and heat and eat meals, frozen RTE foods have all disappeared from the retail shelves. Even UHT Milk in Tetra packs which was never touched for the fresh milk have vanished as the consumer now want to use the long life UHT milk.

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August 2020