India's leading ice-cream brands have lined up full-fledged advertising campaigns to make up for the last year's lost sales this summer. India has an Ice-cream market of over $2 billion and almost 65%-70% of the revenues come from the summer season.
Last year, almost half of the summer season sales were gone because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The companies such as Mother Dairy, Havmor, Amul, Kwality Walls, Vadilal and Cream Bell are planning to cover up for the last season's losses.
To increase sales and gain consumer affinity, brands are planning to advertise on TV, print, digital and outdoor. A major part of their spending is likely to go towards print as well, which has seen several categories reducing their advertising.
With the onset of summer across the country, Vincent Noronha, VP Marketing and Business Head Parlors, Havmor Ice Cream, shared the brand has witnessed an increase in its sales and is now expecting double-digit growth in the sales figures this financial year.
Sanjay Sharma, Business Head – Dairy Products, Mother Dairy, expects the overall ice cream industry to bounce back this season with the normalcy gradually setting in and the early rise in overall temperatures in February 2021. In addition, he expects the consumers to make a comeback and re-indulge in their favourite flavours, thereby giving a boost to ice cream consumption.
Noronha said he has seen an increase in the footfall across the brand’s outlets in the country.
“Summers have always been a peak season for our segment. We have planned our summer campaign focusing on our strengths and our communications strategy will be a blend of ATL as well as print,” he said.
While conventional mediums have immense potential, he said one must opt for digital mediums to garner the desired traction. OTT clubbed with TV and print will be mediums brands would continue to spend heavily.
The brand will maintain its spends ratio and focus on reaching its core audiences across priority geographies.
Meanwhile, Mother Dairy has plans to drive brand salience within the ice creams category via a 360-degree campaign this season. Its overall marketing spends will certainly see a shift as the last season was a dull period.
IPL is one of the leading properties for brands to gain great traction. When asked about the association plans, Noroha said that it is very unlikely for FMCG brands to partner during the IPL.
However, with the increase in live streaming on OTT platforms, Havmor is planning to join hands with Hotstar in the future.
“There isn’t anything new this season but surely the viewership has allegedly hit the roof and will continue to grow in 2021. We haven’t evaluated sponsorship for IPL,” he added.
Ice cream consumption has witnessed a major change during the pandemic as consumers are opting for bulk or take-home packs such as tubs and bricks.
Mother Dairy intends to leverage this arising opportunity by introducing eight to ten new products in the take-home segment this season. It will be strengthening distribution to enhance its availability in arms’ length of desire, entailing investments in deeper penetration of assets and additional point-of-sales in existing markets along-with foray in 150-200 towns across the country.
It also aims at strengthening its online presence and revamping its packaging to understand the nature of its products and keeping in mind the health and safety of the consumers, thus initiating usage of tumblers and thermocol packaging that made delivery easier and risk-free.
Brands believe that the trend of in-home consumption is slated to increase. And therefore, the organised ice cream industry is likely to see an increasing consumer preference for the take-home category.
Also, out-of-home consumption will continue to drive consumption for this category due to factors like – on-the-move indulgence and a rise in temperatures.