- Amid the second wave of Corona, gram panchayats prohibited the sale of cold items in villages.
- The time limit for opening shops in villages has been reduced and entry of outsiders has been stopped.
- The sale of FMCG items such as chips to curd, fruit juice and biscuits was significantly affected.
Soft drink and ice cream companies are seeing a big setback in the summer season, which is looking for a bumper earning opportunity in rural areas of the country. In view of the second wave of Corona infection,
The deadline to open shops in villages has been reduced and entry of outsiders has been stopped. A senior executive at one of India’s largest beverages companies says, “We are facing a peculiar problem.” Elders of these villages are alleging that cold products may increase the risk of infection with the corona virus.
Sale of Shrikhand is also not allowed
The sales head of a food company told that even the sale of Shrikhand is not allowed in many villages. Our associate newspaper Times of India, after reviewing some notices issued by the panchayat, sent emails to several MNCs such as Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India but received no response.
The shop opens only from 7 to 9 am
“Any trade involving cold items such as cold drinks and ice cream is prohibited in the village,” said a notice. It further writes, “There is only one entry and exit point in the village and outsiders are not allowed to come here.” The second notice reads, ‘The shops will open only from 7 am to 9 am. Violators will have to pay a fine of Rs 500. ‘
Up to 90% loss to business
Rakesh Khanna, a local cola brand City Cola businessman, says, “It’s like a Chinese whisper. You know how this is happening. Some doctors may have said that drinking soft drinks can spoil your throat and spread like wildfire in the entire village. He adds, “Up to 90 per cent of the business has suffered.”
Demand more but less sale
The present situation of rural India is quite different from last year when trade was flourishing due to migration of laborers and good farming in rural and semi-urban areas. Subhashish Basu, COO of Pratap Snacks, says, “Unlike the first wave, this time the virus has not left rural India either.” Many rural areas have high rates of infection. ‘ He says that although there is no complete lockdown this time and the demand is more from urban areas to rural areas, but the sales have come down considerably.