Dairy sales rise amid COVID-19 lockdown: Report

India’s largest dairy producers reported a significant 50-100 per cent jump in sales of high-demand dairy products during April, as household consumers turned towards milk products for healthy, home-cooked meal options, as per a report by the Economic Times

May 5, 2020

Leading dairy brands saw an increased sale of dairy products, exceeding average monthly figures and compensating for a decline in hospitality sector demand

Consumers working from home during the lockdown are opting for various dairy products known for its nutritional and immunity-boosting properties

India accounts for around 12 per cent of total global milk production, with the country’s dairy industry employing more than 100 million workers

NITI Aayog, the Central Government’s think tank, has projected overall milk production in the country to reach 330 million tonnes by 2033

India’s largest dairy producers have reported a 50-100 per cent jump in sales of dairy products in the month of April as household consumers turned towards milk supplements for healthy, home-cooked meal options. According to a report by the Economic Times on May 4, multiple leading dairies have observed an increase in demand for items that exceed average monthly figures as consumers working from home through the COVID-19 lockdown opt for dairy products commonly known for its nutritional and immunity-boosting properties.

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) managing director, RS Sodhi, told ET how household consumption of products, including the sale of bakery and confectionary items, has risen to such an extent that it compensates for decreased demand from the hotel, restaurant, and canteen (HORECA) segment of the service industry. Meanwhile, according to Parag Milk Foods Chairman, Devendra Shah, the current pandemic and resultant lockdown has led to consumers choosing to stock up on items, in fear of future shortages, with a notable rise in the sale of high-temperature treated milk.

Additionally, the increase in demand for dairy commodities is not specific only to Indian markets as members of the International Dairy Federation confirm similar trends being observed in many different countries.

At an estimated value close to US$106 billion, India is the world’s largest milk producer, accounting for over 12 per cent of global milk production. Besides, the dairy industry in India supports the employment of over 100 million workers. At the Budget 2020 speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the Government’s intent to double India’s milk processing capacity from 53.5 million tonnes to 108 million tonnes by 2025, with a NITI Aayog report projecting overall milk production of 330 million tonnes by 2033.

In efforts to support business continuity through the lockdown, the Government has been enforcing safety measures to prevent long-term social and economic consequences of the pandemic.