Prior to the onset of the pandemic, retail volume sales of snacks had exhibited strong growth due to the expansion of the country’s middle class, but the economic shock of COVID-19 brought this to a halt during 2020, with ice cream performing particularly badly. Demand for savoury and sweet biscuits proved to be fairly robust, although many consumers switched to cheaper brands or small pack sizes.
The economic shock of the pandemic led many local consumers to rein in their discretionary spending, so retail volume sales of confectionery declined during 2020, with restrictions on movement also playing a role in this. The latter led to a decline in impulse purchasing and on-the-go consumption.
In rural areas and among low-income urban communities, people tend to eat one or two meals per day. These tend to be very heavy meals, especially in rural areas where manual labour (mainly farm work) is the main occupation.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.4 million jobs have been lost and many more workers have had to take pay cuts and are therefore left economising.
Open markets remain the most popular distribution channel for packaged food. This is by far the most traditional retail channel, and many people have strong cultural ties to open markets.
The modernisation of grocery retailing will help to widen the distribution of savoury snacks during the forecast period. With more supermarkets set to open in smaller urban centres and in the residential areas in larger cities, savoury snacks will be more readily available to local consumers.
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