As hot and predominantly dry weather persists throughout Estonia, ice cream and bottled water manufacturers are seeing record sales and struggling to keep up with demand.
Aivar Aus, CEO of Premia Tallinna Külmhoone AS, Estonia’s largest ice cream producer, told business daily Äripäev that manufacturing is currently split into three shifts, including on Saturdays and some Sundays, to keep up with demand.
According to Aus, based on their machinery’s capacity and the company’s workforce, the company can produce up to 40 tonnes of ice cream per day, however during periods of warm weather, stores are selling 10-20 tonnes more than that.
The competing Balbiino has also seen a 10% increase in sales and healthy export numbers.
Small producers are likewise reaping the benefits of this summer’s unusually hot weather. Kaili Tuul, a member of the board of Jäämari popsicle producer Mahe OÜ, said that ice cream sales are doing better in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, or popular tourist areas, than in the supermarkets of Tallinn, for example.
Bottled water manufacturers hiring due to record sales
In order to keep up with exponentially increasing bottled water and soft drink sales, a number of businesses have hired additional employees as well as extended their hours of operation.
Värska Vesi’s output, for example, has increased 20% this summer. The company is bottling nearly 200,000 litres of water per day, however they are shipping up to 300,000 litres per day, reported ETV news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.”
“This summer has been exceptional in that, from May up until now, the sun, our best salesperson, has been doing a very good job, and sales numbers are seeing high growth compared to last year’s figures,” said Urmas Jõgeva, a member of the board at Värska Vesi AS.
In order to meet this increased demand, the company has both hired additional employees as well as extended their hours of operation.
“We are working in our usual rhyhtm, but we’ve also been working on Saturdays and Sundays here now,” Jõgeva said. “Saturdays and Sundays are going a long way in helping to ensure that orders are filled. We hire temporary additional employees as well for the summer months. I just looked, and as of right now, we have ten people.”
A. Le Coq, which noted it has never before sold so much water, has likewise hired additional employees as well as extended their operation hours.
“We are selling something around two and a half million litres of water,” said A. Le Coq AS CEO Tarmo Noop. “We have never sold so much water before — that is an average of 600,000 litres per week. Since May, the plant has been operating 24/7.
Summer sales making up for excise duty hike-related losses
According to Noop, the ongoing hot summer and related spike in sales is compensating significantly for losses the company has incurred in relation to Estonia’s recent excise duty hikes.
“This year’s warm or even very warm summer has gone a long way for us in compensating for the Estonian government’s unsuccessful excise duty policy, and first and foremost soft drink and water sales have seen very good sales numbers,” he said.
Saku Õlletehas is likewise seeing significant increase in bottled water and soft drink sales numbers, and the company’s production volume has spiked nearly 40% in recent months.
“In the past two weeks in July, we have already sold a bit more than in all of last July combined,” said Saku Õlletehas board member Jaan Härms. “In that regard, the past month is indeed going at double the pace.”
Monday temperatures may reach 33C
The forecast for Monday is partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds in parts of the country. Highs across the country are forecast to reach 24-33C.
Monday evening may also see rain showers and scattered thunderstorms in parts of the country, with increased chances in Western Estonia, and temperatures can be expected to remain up to 28C.