Consumer goods makers said stores, including retail chains and online grocers, are placing 15-20% higher order volumes in the run-up to the Holi week as compared with 2021, with daily Covid cases rapidly declining and states easing curbs on mobility and business hours. Holi will be celebrated on March 18.
“This year, Holi and the summer will be a record for ice cream and beverage sales as more social events will be celebrated,” said RS Sodhi, managing director, Amul, which is the market leader in milk products. “Business is already up in double digit this month as compared to 2020,” Sodhi said.
The enthusiasm is visible even in the snack-foods category.
Manish Aggarwal, director, Bikano, Bikanervala Foods, said Holi is a great opportunity for the packaged snacks and sweets category, with nearly a fifth of the traditional namkeen and sweet sales expected during this festival. “We are strategising it very well with respect to better logistics, supply chain management and marketing strategies,” he said.
Already, sales of packaged commodities such as edible oils, pulses and atta climbed nearly 28% on-year in the first fortnight of February. Similarly, sales of packaged foods rose 18% due to improvements in consumer mobility and out-of-home consumption, showed the latest data from Bizom that tracks orders by neighbourhood stores. People mobility has increased from the pre-Covid period in February, as per the latest data from Google.
Piruz Khambatta, chairman at instant beverages maker Rasna, said business through Holi is also symbolic since it means good summer sales. “There will be growth over 2020 and 2021, but the challenge will be surpassing 2018 and 2019 numbers,” he said.
Industry executives said companies such as Adani Wilmar, Parle Products and ITC are increasing store level inventories to meet the surge in Holi demand next month. Grocery chains and e-grocers are also planning promotional events and sales around Holi to boost demand.