Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Jun 30 2009, 04:04am hrs

That the fast moving consumer industry seems to be gaining traction and growth in some of the newer categories seems to be surprising observers. According to leading market research agency AC Nielsens data, the Indian consumer goods industry registered robust growth of 16.3% over the previous year in the month of May and 5.8% over the previous month in value terms. On a three month rolling average basis as well, growth remained fairly strong at 17.1%. However, analysts at Nomura Global Equity Research say the key thing to note is that this months data might appear different compared to data reported by Nielsen earlier, due to restatement.

However, on a long-term basis, growth continues to be steady. Interestingly, among the mature categories, fabric care and toilet soaps continued to march ahead at a steady pace with value growth of 24.1% and 10.5% year on year, respectively. Growth in oral care, which is seen as a consistent performer due to its non-discretionary nature (people dont deliberate much while consuming such products),was subdued in May with just a 6.2% annual growth. Among other large categories, the year on year growth was buoyant for hair oils and skin care at 18.9% and 22% respectively. But shampoos registered fairly muted growth of 8.8% year on year during the month. Interestingly, emerging categories, such as perfumes, deos and pre-post wash, witnessed robust growth of 49.6% and 23.6% over the same period of the previous year, respectively.

In the food segment, packaged staples continued their strong growth momentum with 22.6% year on year growth. The tea segment was also strong at 26.3%. Amongst the companies, Hindustan Unilever witnessed growth of 8.9% year on year. On a three month rolling average basis, its growth has dropped to 10.9% from the 16.5% levels of October 2008. Marico and Godrej Consumer have registered an impressive performance with Marico having a 14.1% growth and Godrej Consumer growing 14.6% on year on year basis and 6.6% sequentially. And, on a three month rolling average basis, growth momentum remained on an upward trend for the fifth straight month, say analysts. In this category, Dabur with a 5.6% growth for May 2009 reported the weakest numbers. On a three month rolling basis, growth momentum slowed significantly from 12.8% in April 2009 to 11.2% in May 2009.