Ice-cream sales slow as quake chills demand

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
Ice-cream sales slow as quake chills demand

Jun 24, 2015-

Ice-cream makers have reported slower sales growth this summer due reduced demand from party palaces, shopping malls, struggling cinema halls and closed schools and colleges after the April 25 earthquake.

The April-May period is considered peak season for ice-cream sales. Most of the sellers said they would not be able to achieve sales targets this summer, which accounts for 40 percent of their total sales. According to the traders, Nepal’s organised ice-cream market is worth around Rs500 million. With the start of monsoon, there is hardly any chance of sales revival. Some companies have even stopped promotional campaigns, while some have postponed new launches.

“Our sales plunged 50 percent in mid-April to mid-June period due to the earthquake, and with the start of monsoon, we see a sluggish growth this year,” said Arniko Rajbhandari, director of Kathmandu Dairy, which manufactures Nd’s ice-cream.

He said the company would achieve a 4-5 percent growth, against the target of 20-25 percent. “We had to bear industrial losses as we were compelled to dump stocks due to the lack of staff members and shortage of raw materials,” said Rajbhandari.

Schools, colleges and restaurants remained closed for over a month after the earthquake. Some malls, movie theatres are still closed.

“Although retail sales grew slightly due to high temperature in June, bulk sales slumped significantly,” said Shyam Sundar Lal Kakshapati, managing director of National Icecream Industries, which manufactures Ajjabko Ice-cream. The company was planning to introduce a premium range of ice-cream this summer, but it postponed the plan.

“This year, winter extended until mid-April, and there were un-seasonal rains until then. When the temperature started rising, earthquakes of April 25 and May 12 lowered consumption,” said Leeldhwoj Lama, assistant brand manager at Sujal Dairy, manufacturer of Lovebird premium ice-cream.

“The demand from party palaces, shopping malls, cinema halls was very low until last month, but it has started to recover gradually,” he said, adding the company was now focusing outside the valley, in places like Pokhara, Narayangadh, and Butwal.

Madhav Ojha, sales, distribution and planning chief at Dairy Development Corporation that manufacturers ddc icecream, said the rains also started affecting the sales. “If we compare this year’s sales with last year’s figures, the demand is low and the weather is playing a crucial role. The consumption starts falling with the start of monsoon,” he said.

Published: 25-06-2015 08:52

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