Providing staple foods in India

AlPesa: Thriving sales in Covid times

During the COVID-19 enforced lockdowns in India, the supply of basic foodstuffs became one of the most important tasks for governments and businesses. Ready-to-eat and packaged foods saw an uptick in demand because the processing of these items is perceived to be safer due to minimal human contact. Atta flour, a staple food for millions in India, was the first product whose demand shot up.

The 2020 stay-at-home orders in India prevented the usual practice of families buying wheat grain and heading out to the street corner chakki mill for grinding grains to atta. The government of India therefore announced a large stimulus package, which included distribution of staple food items at nominal price. This led to drastic demand increase in pre-packaged food items. 

Bühler, with its AlPesa solution for the grinding of grains into atta flour, was in the right place at the right time to address these trends. AlPesa caters to producers who wish to enter the atta market and establish their brands without risking big capital.


Diversify with atta flour milling

The Indian food industry, because of its comparative stability, has seen many new entrants throughout these Covid-19 times. A customer from the North region was in the business of selling machines in the marble industry. The Bühler local team was able to help him understand the food industry and explain the benefits of diversification.

Another customer, whose main business lies in agriculture, also quickly wanted to diversify its portfolio. After several discussions with the local Bühler team, this customer visited an existing AlPesa production facility for atta flour and decided to go forward with this solution. In addition, he ordered a wheat cleaning plant from Bühler.

wheat cleaning in atta flour milling

Remote installation and support

The travel restrictions urged the Bühler team in India to find new solutions also in terms of installation, commissioning, and support. Here another advantage of the compact and easy-to-run AlPesa milling systems came into play. Virtual meetings, and remote support were set up, which enabled the Bühler Customer Service engineers to guide customers’ teams to install and start-up the milling system within one week on their own. The modularity of the design made the installation of AlPesa quick, saving valuable time during the crisis, enabling producers to supply urgently needed foods.

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