Dunking a Parle-G in a cup of tea, and delicately extricating it from the tea without letting it sink to the bottom may be a required skill in India, but the biscuit has only come out on tops. The 82-year old brand says it recorded its highest ever sales of all time during the last two months – an impressive feat considering how most other businesses have suffered with sales plummeting through the lockdown. And while the company did not share exact sales numbers, the development was confirmed by Parle to several media outlets.
“We’ve grown our overall market share by nearly 5%… And 80– 90% of this growth has come from the Parle-G sales. This is unprecedented,” said Mayank Shah, category head at Parle Products.
At Rs.5 a pack, the humble brand has penetrated across the length and breadth of India, and complemented the national beverage of tea since 1938. When India declared its one month long Covid lockdown beginning March 25th, people started hoarding food, and Parle-G was a classic choice, so much so it was sometimes the first item to be sold out at various online and offline supermarkets. During the lockdown, due to lack of availability of many other food items or restaurant services, it sometimes became a whole meal by itself. The biscuit packets also supported the thousands of migrants who traveled thousands of kilometers on foot to go back home to their villages. The packets were also distributed by good samaritans and Parle-G itself during various Covid19 support activities to both humans, and for animal relief work, adding to its utility.
On the supply side, the company had been making concerted efforts to expand the distribution channels and boost the supply in rural areas for a few years, an undertaking that paid off during the pandemic.
India’s recent emphasis on supporting made-in-India products and brands may have a role to play in the collective celebrations on the internet over Parle’s success. As soon as the reports of this feat came in, the brand started trending on Twitter where many netizens shared their favourite moments and memories attached with the biscuit. It also sparked off a flurry of Parle-G memes making for a hilarious trend.
— Dhanpat Goswami 🇮🇳 (@DhanpatGoswami) June 9, 2020
The company itself reshared some of the adulation it received from the supporters.
— Parle-G (@officialparleg) June 9, 2020
With its ubiquitous yellow and red packaging with the baby girl mascot that has remained largely unchanged since the brand was launched over 80 years ago, Parle-G has kept up with the growth trajectory brands of today can only hope to match.