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Why scorching summer is good news for some

By Viveat Susan Pinto
March 21, 2017 22:46 IST
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Makers of air conditioners, beverage and ice-cream are hopeful of a boost in sales

Makers of products usually in demand in summer, such as air conditioners, beverages and ice cream, are hopeful of a boost in sales with the hot season setting in early in the west and the south.

In February itself, Mumbai recorded unusually high temperatures, touching 36 degrees Celsius. Bengaluru and Chennai, too, recorded high temperatures.

This summer is likely to be hotter and drier than the previous one, according to the India Meteorological Department and private forecaster Skymet.

As a result, air conditioner, beverage and icecream makers are looking to clock sales growth of 15-20 per cent this summer.

For AC makers, in particular, summer contributes to 50-60 per cent of yearly sales. For beverage and ice cream makers, at least a third of sales come in the hot season. Refrigerator sales, on the other hand, are spread through the year, though summer is an important peak.

“There has been good demand from parts of the south, Gujarat and Maharashtra for our air conditioners and refrigerators,” said C M Singh, chief operating officer, Videocon Industries. “This should pick up pace in the next few weeks, as hot weather grips other parts of the country.”

The north and east, in particular, are yet to feel a heat wave, as unseasonal rain has kept temperatures down. Last week, there was rain in Kolkata and Delhi, cooling the weather. This depressed demand for summer products a little, said company executives.

“Since February, the (appliances) market is on a recovery path. This month on it should gain steam. We have just launched a new inverter AC with a 5.8 Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is a new energy table introduced by the government,” said Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice-president, Godrej Appliances.

This product is expected to sell at about Rs 55,000 to Rs 60,000, as part of its premium NXW range. Godrej is also focusing on other ends of its AC portfolio. Most firms - Voltas, LG, Samsung, Blue Star, Whirlpool, Panasonic, Haier, Godrej and Videocon - have already placed their AC and refrigerator products in stores, especially in the southern and western markets.

New products would reach the stores in the east and north next week. Beverage and ice cream makers are also going to launch products soon.

“We have launched new ice creams and beverages, aimed at promoting regional flavours such as a Punjabi kulfi and a pure mango pulp-based juice,” said R S Sodhi, managing director, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets the Amul brand of dairy products.

Some other beverage makers such as Parle Agro, promoter of the Frooti brand, and Manpasand Beverages are adding more fizz to their juices. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are veering towards non-carbonated beverages this summer.

Photograph: PTI Photo

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Viveat Susan Pinto in Mumbai
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