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Ice creams fly off shelves as cruel summer beats down

Ice cream makers are betting big on omni-channel sales with offerings spanning mass, mass premium, and premium categories even as they are hopeful of clocking 15-20% growth in sales this summer.

The sweltering heat amid rising mercury levels has led to increased demand in several regions across the country, particularly southern India. With temperatures expected to rise further, companies are upbeat about good summer sales across the country.

According to industry insiders, there has been a spurt in sales across all channels including ice cream parlours, general and modern trade as well as online platforms.

“Summer is always peak season for the ice cream industry in terms of consumer demand and this year is no exception. With rising temperatures, we are witnessing a fantastic increase in footfall across our parlours in the country, across our general trade and modern trade accounts as well as on all our online platforms,” Mohit Khattar, CEO, Graviss Foods Pvt Ltd-Baskin Robbins, told BusinessLine.

Anticipating a surge in demand, the company had stepped up its stock levels across the country, ensured that its manufacturing facility is running at top capacity, and that its sales and logistics teams are able to fulfil orders from distributors and franchisee partners across 239 cities. Baskin Robbins has introduced over 17 new products for its parlour channel this year.

“So far, our teams seem to be coping well and are well placed to leverage the opportunity provided by the intense summer,” he said.

Billion-dollar market

According to a recent report by Wazir Advisors, the ice cream market in India, which includes both organised and unorganised players, is currently valued at $3.4 billion and projected to reach $5.4 billion by FY25, at a CAGR of around 17 per cent over the next three years.

Some of the key factors driving the growth include the rising presence of international brands and expansion of domestic brands; leading food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC are adding soft serve to their menus, resulting in increased sales and an overall improvement in the country’s cold-chain storage infrastructure in recent years.

According to Manish Bandlish, Managing Director, Mother dairy , this season looks “promising” and the company expects its ice creams category to grow by over 20 per cent vis-à-vis last year.

Keventer Agro, which sells ice creams under the brand Metro, catering largely to the “value” segment of the market, has been witnessing a surge in demand across West Bengal, especially from the districts of Nadia and Hooghly.

“We are seeing an increased demand in cone and blocks and are currently growing at 10-12 per cent in cones and sticks segments,” said Sanjay Dua, Head of Ice Cream Business, Keventer Agro.

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