A pandemic scheme has helped increase atta sales in South India: One of the unintended consequences of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) has been a slight shift in the food habits of the rice-loving southern households with the sales of atta seeing an uptick.
According to marketers, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), which provided atta as one of the essentials to people to ease the pandemic’s suffering, has played a key role in the nudge. South now accounts for 18% of all grounded atta, up to three percentage points from 15% in 2020.
“Changing food habits is not an easy task and encouraging consumers in southern India to add atta to their repertoire of food products was a challenge. The distribution of free atta/wheat under PMGKY has allowed this category to enter a larger number of southern Indian households, which primarily rice consumers. We are witnessing a slight habit change in terms of atta consumption in these households, which augurs well towards increasing category penetration. As a market leader in the atta category, we will leverage this shift in consumer behavior to increase the franchise of our portfolio of Aashirvaad branded and packaged products in these markets,” ITC divisional chief executive (foods) Hemant Malik told Times of India.
Another major player in the food category, Parle, is also looking forward to a launch in the southern market.
“Because wheat is not typically a staple in the south, the acceptance for packaged atta is higher there as compared to other regions which are still getting atta milled. In the north, west, and east, consumers graduate from chakki atta to packaged atta and that’s the advantage branded and packaged atta companies have in the south,” the Times of India report quoted Parle Products senior category head, Mayank Shah, as saying.