The past 2-3 months of 2004 have seen FMCG companies across different categories doing well.
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) executive director & president HK Press said that this summer has finally seen the impact of good monsoon of 2003. Godrej has witnessed a positive growth of 8-12 per cent year-on-year in soaps and toiletries during this period. Samsika Marketing Consultants chairman and managing director Jagdeep Kapoor said that growth in the past 2-3 months cannot be attributed to product categories but has been seen in particular brands.
However, Mr Kapoor added that most leading shampoo brands, including Sunsilk, Clinic, Head & Shoulders and Rejoice, have done well this summer. He finds a trend of consumers giving importance to perceived value rather than only to aspects like availability of sachets.
A Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) spokesperson said that the company has relaunched its Sunsilk and Clinic Plus brands in December 2003 and April 2004, respectively. Sunsilk range now comprises four variants and Clinic Plus health shampoo offers five benefits in one pack.
Regarding the importance of perceived value to Indian consumer, the HLL spokesperson added that it has always been the case with preference for products that offer right benefits at appropriate prices. But the spokesperson reiterated that pack sizes are an essential part of a comprehensive strategy to deliver outstanding consumer value.
Mr Kapoor sees some FMCG brands like Ghadi detergent, Chik shampoo, Ujala and some biscuit and oil brands doing well, while some others may be barely surviving.
Connecting with the consumer on the rational and emotional level is the key, according to Mr Kapoor.
Mr Press added that Godrej No. 1 soap and Godrej Hair Dye have also been doing well. Going forward, he sees another good monsoon to help in continuing the growth trend for FMCG. Spotting some general trends, an industry analyst said that talcum powder, deodourants and toilet soaps witness more sales in summer, while healthcare segment booms more in monsoon and winter months.
In case of chocolates, according to sources at Cadbury, there is always a decline in sales during the summer as compared to other months, even as Cadbury has witnessed positive growth y-o-y in summer 2004.
Before the advent of summer, HLL had seen growth in March 2004 quarter in soaps & detergents, beverages and personal products, while processed foods had been down. In case of detergents the company spokesperson said that they are not overwhelmed by the presence of smaller players, which are growing.
As per AC Nielson survey for the year 2003, the FMCG sector witnessed positive growth, with segment-wise growth of 27 per cent in refined edible oil, 11.7 per cent in biscuits, 2.7 per cent in toilet soaps and 0.1 per cent in detergent powders.