The country’s snacks and sweets industry would suffer an estimated revenue loss of Rs 35,000 crore in the current financial year due to the coronavirus pandemic, an industry official said on Monday.
According to a PTI report: Sweets and namkeen (snacks) manufacturers have reduced the production capacity due to the shortage of labourers in the midst of a slowdown and health concerns, experts said.
“In view of the ill effects of COVID-19 on the market, we estimate that the total turnover of sweets and namkeen products in the country may drop to Rs 65,000 crore during the ongoing financial year,” Feroze H Naqvi, Director of Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufacturers told PTI.
He said that in 2019-20, the turnover of the sweet and namkeen industry was around Rs 1,00,000 crore. This includes a turnover of Rs 60,000 crore of sweets.
Naqvi said that the COVID-19 crisis has severely affected the business of sweets.
“The business came to a standstill due to coronavirus-induced-lockdown across the country. This has ruined a large stock of sweets in manufacturing units and shops, which has caused huge losses to manufacturers and vendors,” he told PTI.
He said that the sale of sweets and namkeen products has gained some momentum since June after the lockdown was eased. But the indications are not very encouraging as the economic crisis arising out of COVID-19 spread has affected the purchasing power of people.
The number of units manufacturing sweets and namkeens in organised and unorganised sectors is estimated at over 2 lakhs. Most of these units have reduced their production capacity due to the current market conditions, Naqvi said.
“Thousands of migrant labourers working in sweet and namkeen factories returned to their villages due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has also slowed down the pace in these factories.
“The sweet and namkeen industry now has little expectations from the festival of Deepawali as everyone knows this time the festival is not going to be the same,” he told PTI.
Indore is the country’s leading centre for namkeen production with hundreds of small-scale units.
Anurag Bothra, Secretary of the Namkeen-Sweet Producer Association of Indore said that local namkeen producers suffered an estimated business loss of over Rs 150 crore during March, April and May due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As per the orders of the administration in Indore, the entry of customers in retail shops of snacks and namkeen was prohibited during the lockdown.
“However, after lockdown was eased, many namkeen vendors started home-delivery of these snack products for customers through online booking. But the business is not the same as it used to be before the COVID-19 outbreak,” he further told PTI.