As the impact of Covid-19 on cooking oils has been uneven, the demand for palm oil used mainly in hotels, restaurants, cafes and for confectionery bakery items and fries have suffered the most.
Homes that can afford soothing oils like mustard, soybean and sunflower oils this cant be the preferred choice.
Whereas Malaysia and Indonesia stood as the largest suppliers of palm oil Indian sellers are likely to change.
The first half of this oil marketing (November 2019-April 2020), palm oil imports were 29% down over the same period.
Soybean and sunflower oil imports rose over 13 to 12% respectively.
The share of palm oil in imports was high at 53% during this period, but it was down from 64% during the year-ago period.
Industry observers during this period expect palm oil import to contract to 7.5 million tonnes against an annual average of 9 million tonnes over the past couple of years.
Palm oil has been supplied through ration shops since 1970, and since then the inexpensive oil has been perceived as cheap.
It has been shunned as unhealthy because of the high saturated content associated with stroke and heart disease.
Angshu Mallik, CEO of Adani Wilmar who sells cooking oil under Fortune brand stated that only 18% of this oil is consumed in homes and more than 4/5th of this is consumed in states like Kerela, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, West Bengal and Odisha.
Rural households account for more than 70% demand, and 86% of them are non-vegetarians.
Mallick also stated that it is available in 622 brands, up from 542 in April 2019.
Online seminar at Indonesian embassy said that palm oil has balanced amount of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids which is safe and nutritious and could be the next superfood consumers high smoking point which proves it good for frying.
It claims the wrong notion associated with heart disease and states that molein is cholesterol-free because it posses unique triglyceride molecule configuration.
The ICMR should commission a study as India wants to reduce its dependence on imported Palm oil.
Though India started its cultivation on Palm oil by 1985, the progress has been calculated slow.
It has been noted that if soft oils were to replace palm oils, much more land to be needed for the cultivation of soybean and coconut oil were to be alternatives, four to ten times more land is necessary for the cultivation.
To avoid collateral damage, the domestic industry has adopted an Indian Plam Oil Sustainability framework with an NGO which has oil producers, processors, traders, Industrial users and banks where about 15% of the palm oil meet this production.
Mallick’s concerns over the marketing strategy and advertising techniques could more emphasise the product and its production and the sale among the population could prettify palm oil’s image.