Noodles have always been in demand due to their easy-to-cook feature and the nationwide lockdown has only spiked their offtake, with reports of stocks going nil in some areas.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 16 : Noodles have always been in demand due to their easy-to-cook feature and the nationwide lockdown has only spiked their offtake, with reports of stocks going nil in some areas.

Wholesalers in the national capital have said that the stocks of Maggi have depleted and the demand for the product remains high.

"The demand for noodles is very high. The stock of Maggi is very low, and Yippee! is available as of now," said Ayush, who runs Triveni Trading Company, a wholesaler in New Delhi.

Jitendar of Vardhaman Trading in Delhi told IANS that the issue regarding Maggi is that distributors are quoting very high prices then the general rate. He said that stock is available with the distributors, but they are quoting high rates, at which retailers do not want to buy.

"Distributors are getting products, but several distributors are quoting such prices that retailers do not want to buy it. The MRP of a Maggi packet is Rs 12 and the distributor seeks Rs 11.90, why would the retailer by for a margin of just 10 paise," he said.

Last month, Nestle, the producer of Maggi, had said that as the company is in the manufacture and sale of food and beverage products, the company is in discussion with the authorities to continue operations in the factories and distribution centres where the operations have been suspended.

"The company is closely monitoring the situation and will take all necessary measures as directed by the Central and state government and authorities, from time to time. The impact on the operations of the Company cannot be assessed at this point," it had said.

Further announcing Covid-19 related initiatives, Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India had said in early April: "This dedication to a national cause goes from our supply chain, to our factories, our people, our distribution partners, who work round the clock to ensure that we continue to meet the nutritional needs of families. We heed to a call of duty to ensure that much-needed food and beverage products are available to our consumers and communities throughout the country." FMCG major ITC, which produces Yippee!, has ramped up production despite challenges of labour shortage and transportation issues.

The demand for Yippee! too has risen during the lockdown period, according to wholesalers and retailers.

Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive, Foods Division, ITC Ltd told IANS: "With people being confined to their homes during such an unprecedented situation, there is a surge in demand for Yippee! noodles. Yippee! is a preferred snack option amongst consumers given that it is both tasty and filling as well as nutritious as it contains vegetables.

"To address this requirement, we are making tireless efforts to ensure availability of Yippee! in the markets across the country. With the help of state authorities, we have ramped up production of Yippee! noodles despite the challenges of labour shortage and limitations of transport availability." With the lockdown being extended till May 3, the demand for easy to cook products such as noodles would obviously rise, but sector players say with the restrictions being lifted partially on some sectors including manufacturing facilities of essential goods, the stock availability should ease.

(Rituraj Baruah can be contacted at rituraj.b@ians.in)

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