Global consumer product companies are betting big on the India growth story amidst volatile macro-economic conditions and inflationary pressures visible across the world.

Companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, L’Oreal, Unilever and Mondelez said they witnessed strong growth in 2022 in India in their earnings reports and investor calls this month.

Stating that India is rapidly growing into a beauty epicenter, L’Oreal’s top management, at an investor event, said the company had a “great year in India” as it grew “two times faster than the market.”

“India is a very promising market for us and we have high ambitions. Statistics say that by 2030, India will represent represent 20 per cent of the world’s population and 30 per cent of the qualified workforce. So, it will definitely be a driver of growth for us. Middle classes are rising in a major way,” the company’s management added.

‘Long-term potential’

James Quincey, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, said its India business had a “cracking year” in 2022 in a recent earnings call.

“The Indian economy and the Indian consumer base is approaching, in highest-level terms, a level of GDP per head at which, historically the beverage industry has tended to accelerate its development. And so, we are very encouraged by the potential in India to develop a fantastic beverage industry and opportunity. India exemplifies the long-term potential of the beverage industry to keep growing, and I think it’s a market that is set to take off,” he added.

FMCG major Unilever said growth in India in 2022 was broad-based, driven by strong competitiveness and a portfolio that’s been built with brands competing across all price tiers.

“Market growth in India remains stronger in urban areas than in rural and that reflects the impact of high food inflation on low income consumers. We’re seeing rural markets broadly flat in value terms with lower volumes. But we remain confident that we can continue to grow ahead of the market in India,” said Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, in the latest investor call.

Volume growth

Chocolates and confectionery major Mondelez said India grew in strong double-digits for the full year of 2022, driven by both chocolates and biscuits portfolios. The company’s management said “very strong volume growth” was seen in markets such as India and Brazil.

PepsiCo also reported that its India business delivered double-digit organic revenue growth last year and that it gained market share in both beverages and snacks.