NEW DELHI: Rising temperatures can exhaust everyone’s energy save for the ice-cream makers’. Summer, in fact, is the most crucial season for these companies with more than 40 per cent of their annual sales occurring in the 4-5 month window. This year, if the weak El Nino further prolongs the summer as anticipated, ice-cream sales is set to further see a boost, notwithstanding any hike in ice-cream prices due to costlier milk prices, making the manufacturer-marketers’ business prospects all the sweeter.
“This time, summer is already delayed. Sales picked up only late March and we expect a 15-18 per cent rise on year driven by a home and party packs,” said Devanshu Gandhi, managing director of Vadilal Industries. If El Nino does prolong summer, as previously predicted, it will further boost sales, he added.
RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, which owns Amul, said that prices had remained stable during summer this year due to stable commodity and input prices, increasing consumption. “Ice-cream sales is up 15 per cent this year as compared to last year,” he added.
However, Sodhi said, there has been an increase in raw milk prices recently which has pushed up the cost of production impacting the margins of ice cream makers. Consequently, these companies may now increase product prices during the off-season. “Ät Amul, we are looking at raising prices slightly in some of our products,” he told this publication.
Brands like Baskin Robbins, Kwality Walls and Havmor are also capitalising on the season with new ice-cream flavours, captivating consumers with innovative campaigns.“Our ice-cream and frozen desserts business delivered strong, volume-led growth on the back of innovations and geography expansion,” said a HUL spokesperson.
The company rolled out globally successful innovations — UniCornetto, Sandwich and Magnum Hazelnut as well as local innovations — Cloud Bite with twin flavours and access packs in Choco Cone, Orange Bar and Rajwadi Bite. It also launched co-branded innovations such as Cornetto Oreo and Gems Cup.For Havmor, the summer months bring in about 60 per cent of the annual business and that is reflected in the brand’s marketing spends as well, while for Baskin Robbins, the brand spends stands at about 80 per cent of its India’s marketing budget on summer ads.