Dry January boosts sales


Sales of ice creams, bottled water, sunscreen and water slides have been “going crazy” as temperatures around the Nelson region hit near-record highs last month.

The latest Met Service records released on Monday tell us what we already know – that January in Nelson was one of the hottest and driest months on record.

Nelson’s average mean temperature last month was 19.1 degrees Celsius, with the highest maximum of 27 degrees being recorded on January 18 and 29.

That made it the fifth warmest January since records began in 1941 and the second driest with just 6.6mm of rain in the month.

In fact, if it hadn’t have rained on Saturday – the final day of the month – it would have been the driest January on record, beating the record low of 3.7mm in 1978.

And that warm weather has resulted in record sales of anything and everything that’s cool, wet or refreshing.

“I’ve been here for seven summers and this one has been the busiest ever,” says Philip van der Waal, owner of ice cream and gelato shop Penguinos. “I would have sold 40 per cent more this month than I did last January. Market Day is usually our best day but last Thursday it was really hot and we sold twice that amount.”

Philip says the refreshing flavours like lemon, watermelon and mint have been the biggest sellers.

Berrylands in Appleby has also been busy with co-owner Steph Kristofski saying the girls in the real fruit icecream shop were making up to 400 ice creams a day through January. Berryland’s ice cream truck in Bethany Park in Kaiteriteri was also busy making around 200 a day.

“We have four girls in the shop and they have been working really hard. We also sell berries but it’s the ice creams that people have been after.”

Ice cream producers have also been flat out, with Talley’s domestic retail sales manager Bob Darragh saying their ice cream has been “flying out the door” to retailers.

Farmers Nelson manager, Craig Bevan, says all items water-related have been in hot demand. “Our swim-ware, water slides and water sports sales have been huge. The water slides were sold out well before Christmas but we still have a lot of other stock as we have a few more weeks of the hot stuff.”

Although supermarket owners would not reveal figures, they all reported a big increase in sales of ice cream, water, drinks and sunscreen. Fresh Choice Richmond’s Gary Watson says kids with ice creams have been a common sight in shopping trolleys outside his Richmond Mall supermarket.

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