Early summer demand trends in March indicate that makers of seasonal products such as air conditioners, beverages and ice-creams have begun seeing soaring sales. AC, beverage and ice-cream companies are eyeing strong double-digit growth rates as they have ramped up capacities and distribution for a scorching summer season. This is a respite for seasonal product makers who witnessed sluggish summer sales last year due to unseasonal rains.

Sanjay Chitkara, Senior VP, LG Electronics India, said, “Our growth on a pan-India basis was about 35 per cent in March. However, in certain States such as in the Southern and Eastern regions, the growth was much higher as sales have doubled. It’s a very encouraging trend and indicates that we are going to have a strong summer season this year.”

Kamal Nandi, EVP and Business Head, Godrej Appliances said that the air conditioner industry is estimated to have clocked a value growth between 12-15 per cent in March. “At Godrej Appliances, we have seen a growth of over 25 per cent for March alone. We expect this momentum to continue during Q1 and are aiming for over 30 per cent growth for the overall summer season year-on-year,” he said.

Consumer durable players are hoping to also see an uptick for the entry-level mass segment in categories such as refrigerators during the June quarter.

“Looking at early trends, we are very bullish on the summer season and anticipate to see 40 per cent growth year-on-year in the air conditioner segment,” said N S Satish, President, Haier Appliances India.

Voltas on Sunday said it registered a “significant” volume growth of 72 per cent in AC sales in the March quarter.

Beverages and ice creams

Demand has picked up for the beverage segment, triggered by the elections, the timely onset of the summer season and the four-month long cricket season.

According to Ankit Kapoor, Head of Marketing and International Business, Parle Agro, maker of Frooti and Appy Fizz, after a tepid 2023 due to a weak summer season, the category is expected to grow in high double digits this year.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola India said it is adopting a segmented approach and strategically ramping up distribution to meet consumer demand.

“Our focus is on accelerating our refreshed portfolio of carbonated soft drinks. Additional manufacturing capacities have become operational in time for the season. Bisleri and carbonated drinks range are also available for vending and experience in stadiums of our five partner teams in IPL,” Angelo George, CEO, Bisleri International, said.

Manish Bandlish, MD, Mother Dairy, said,”  With soaring temperatures, ice creams alone have witnessed a 20 per cent rise in demand in March over last year. We have already augmented our production capacities as well as our distribution infrastructure to meet demand.”

Overall, Mother Dairy expects the demand for their dairy products to strengthen by over 30 per cent over last year.

Mohit Khattar, CEO, Graviss Foods Pvt Ltd also said that brand Baskin Robbins is expected to see 17-20 per cent increase in summer sales over the same period last year.