Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation has claimed that its Amul ice creams have outperformed Hindustan Lever's Kwality Walls at the national level by achieving a marketshare of 30 per cent compared to HLL's share of 19 per cent.
HLL, however, contests the figures. It quotes an audit by A C Nielsen which says that HLL has a market share of 38.3 per cent by value for the full year 2002 in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, which together account for over 60 per cent of India's ice cream sales. Amul's market share, it says, is only16.7 per cent.
Last year, HLL had decided to restrict its operations in the top six metros in the country and claims it has a larger market share in each of these locations.
The audit adds that if the vending channel (push carts) is taken into consideration, HLL's market share is over 50 per cent.
HLL's audited results say that its net realisation from the ice cream division came down from Rs 156.39 crore (RS 1.56 billion) by selling 24 million litres in 2001 to 107 crore from 16.5 million litres in 2002.
Amul claims that, in comparison, its net realisation went up from Rs 120 crore (Rs 1.2 billion) by selling 18 million litres in 2001 to Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) with the sale of 24.5 million litres in 2002.
HLL says the Rs 150-crore (Rs 1.5 billion) turnover claimed by Amul for 2002 is in terms of end consumer prices and HLL's turnover by the same method would be around Rs 210 crore (Rs 2.1 billion).
Amul expects to clock sales of 34 million litres during the current year by offering value for money.
HLL had decided to focus on the premium end of the ice cream segment last year. Its ice cream business managed to reduce its losses from Rs 26.52 crore (Rs 265 millon) in 2001 to Rs 14.39 crore (Rs 143 million) in 2002 by following a strategy with focus on the power brand Kwality Walls, differentiated products, focus on key ice cream markets of the major metros and a re-engineered supply chain.
Both the companies plan to launch a couple of new products during the coming season to entice consumers. HLL has decided to extend its sundae portfolio by launching two 'double sundaes' including 'choco almond and honey fudge' and 'passion fruit and kiwi' later this month.
Amul will launch a mega bite almond cone (the largest volume cone in the country), an orange ice cream Santra Mantra', a 'Bouncer' ice cream with nuts and essential proteins, vitamins and minerals for the growing children, a cheese ice cream and a sundae in cone for kids in different variants.