Consumer goods manufacturers are optimistic about a summer sale in 2022

Despite a massive increase in input costs and a slowing consumer market, the country’s consumer goods manufacturers are gearing up for record sales this summer season. As the summer heat spreads early in key regions, manufacturers of summer products such as colas, air conditioners, refrigerators and air coolers expect demand to pick up again after two years of complete washout.

Companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – the fizzy drink giants – are now betting heavily on the rise in outdoor activities, which they expect would boost out-of-home consumption. Among others, home appliance makers such as LG, Panasonic and Usha are finally getting their enthusiasm back as the meteorological department predicts heat waves in northern India.

“We prepared to mobilize our retail channels ahead of time to meet the growing demand over the summer and it has worked well for us. With the summer season approaching, consumer sentiment for products across all our categories is showing an upward trend,” said Tish Condeno, Senior Director, Sparkling Flavors, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia business today.

“This summer, as consumers resume activities outside the home and seek outdoor entertainment channels, our focus is on marketing initiatives that will engage consumers with creative, unconventional storytelling and product innovation,” he added.

“Having overlapped two consecutive seasons with the pandemic, the summer of 2022 comes at an opportune time as the business outlook remains positive. The nationwide lifting of Covid-19 restrictions is expected to encourage consumers to celebrate more occasions together and boost demand for beverage products driven by out-of-home consumption. At the same time, in-home consumption remains resilient as consumers seek value propositions,” said a spokesman for PepsiCo India.

To attract consumers and stay ahead of the competition, the major beverage companies are launching new products and branding campaigns. “We recently introduced Fanta Apple Delite and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which we believe will provide much-needed rejuvenation as consumers across the country deal with the rising summer heat,” said Coke’s Condeno.

The spokesman for PepsiCo India also pointed out that its newly launched branded campaigns are paying hefty dividends and are already seeing “increasing demand across the country and an increase in both penetration and frequency.”

In addition, home appliances wholesaler LG India is expanding its after-sales service network and improving consumer financing opportunities, apart from launching a new portfolio based on insights from the Indian market.

“Our outlook for this summer season is very positive. With most Covid restrictions lifted, retail outlets are busy. Also due to rising temperatures, there is good demand for compressor products, ie refrigerators and air conditioners. Overall, we saw good growth across all product categories in the January-March quarter,” said Deepak Bansak, VP – Home Appliances & Air Conditioners LG India

“We will continue to strengthen our market leadership in all categories. In addition to a strong product portfolio, another important purchase criterion is the after-sales service. At LG, we have a robust after-sales service network that guarantees consumers a hassle-free experience,” he added.

According to Fumiyasu Fujimori, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing India, the company has already seen “record growth” for air conditioners this March. “We have seen growth of nearly 142 percent over March 2019 in volume and 177 percent in value. This year we expect robust sales from all regions. In fact, we are seeing an increasing demand for smart inverter AC devices that provide healthier indoor air quality. We’re hoping for 30-35 percent overall growth this summer (vs. FY2019) for air conditioning. Similarly, we’ve seen our refrigerators grow 11 percent compared to fiscal 2019, and we’re hoping to grow 10 to 12 percent again this year,” he told Business Today.

Kapil Kohli, President, Retail at Usha International, said: “With the cessation of Covid-19 infections, a return to normality and summer temperatures already breaking records, the brand is seeing a significant increase in demand for fans and coolers.”

“Although the pandemic has cast a shadow over the past two summer seasons and brought new challenges into play, we are pleased to say we have risen to the occasion and are optimistic about Usha’s retail vertical where we are seeing sellout growth of 30% expect. 40 percent in fiscal 2022. With summers starting early, we have aligned and mobilized our supply chain logistics to ensure our retailers can meet the increasing demands of our consumers. With a keen eye on expanding our distribution across the country, we are also focusing on seamless and uninterrupted supply of summer necessities such as fans, air coolers, home and kitchen appliances,” he added.

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Jaclyn Diaz

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