How cool is ice cream market in India?

Short Description
According to a report by NRAI there are 35-40 brands present in the space with estimated 1900-2000 outlets The highest presence is in metros and mini metros with an equivalent of 34 per cent of the outlets
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Restaurant India

Over the years, ice cream market in India has gained momentum with entry of national and local players in the market. The segment which is projected at Rs 3,000 crore has been growing at 19.5 per cent year-on-year. And is projected to reach Rs 1,560 crore by 2018. Major national players as well as regional entrants like Pabrai’s Fresh & Naturelle, Natural, Amul, Milkyway are seeing great opportunities in the ice cream market.

Premiumising the product

The dairy business has seen lots of brands coming up with local, regional flavours when it comes to ice cream segment. From local flavours of Japan, to the US, the brand has experimented all when it comes to ice cream business in the country.

Earlier this year, Mother Dairy enters premium ice cream segment with its 'Belgiyum choco bar', Amul starts its ‘Epic’ brand which is a premium version of its other brands and HUL has brought the Magnum to the Indian market seeing all the new opportunity that the business is seeing in India.

After a successful pilot in Chennai in 2013, Magnum was rolled out in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune in 2014, and it has been launched in Delhi and Kolkata this year. Magnum will be available through multiple channels, including premium grocery, modern trade outlets and also ‘Magnum on Wheels’ vending carts.

An event was held to mark the launch of Magnum in Delhi with actor Kareena Kapoor as its brand ambassador. Likewise, Epic by Amul which is launched in January this year is the creamiest ice cream giving the Indian palate the richness and taste never experienced before. Also, ice cream in this product has less aeration compared to regular ice creams. To make this product more premium, the bars are coated with exotic Belgian chocolate, which is richer in taste as compared to regular chocolates. Amul EPIC bars are available in two flavours i.e. Strawberry

Vanilla 80ml at Rs 35/- and Choco Almond 80ml for Rs 40/-.The prices are kept such to stay true to objectives of Amul of giving the best quality at competitive price.

Belgiyum choco bar, intensifying competition in the category where HUL has introduced its premium global brand Magnum and Haagen Dazs is present with imported ice creams.

The company has developed the choco bar keeping in mind the global benchmark, said Subhashis Basu, dairy head at Delhi-based Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable talking to media earlier.

What’s in store?

The ice cream market in India is evolving from selling ice cream on cart and small kiosks to well organised and premium parlours. Not only foreign brands like, Swensen’s, Haagen-Dazs, Movenpick and Baskin Robbins have placed themselves in Indian market, but also regional players like Pabrai’s, Natural, Milkyway are to name a few amongst others who are experimenting with the local and the international ingredients to reach Rs 1,560 crore fast growing ice cream market by 2018.

Even big Indian brands like Amul, Vadilal, Kwality Walls and Mother Dairy is looking for greater opportunities by spreading country wide distribution networks, outlets and menu, to compete with the unorganised players to largely contribute in the industry.

“So far we have been able to build a very strong distribution network of 50,000 retailers, 250 SKUs, 550 distributors, 32 CNF and 250 vehicles for delivery of goods. Through the franchisee route, Vadilal has setup over 140 ‘Happinezz’ retail outlets for selling ice creams and new ones are coming up every month,” says, Rajesh Gandhi, MD – Vadilal Industries Ltd.

Expanding the roots

According to a report by National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), there are 35-40 brands present in the space with estimated 1900-2000 outlets. The highest presence is in metros and mini metros with an equivalent of 34 per cent of the outlets, followed by tier-II cities with 23 per cent of outlets. At the same time, the regional players which are scattered around different regions, hold a sizeable part of market.

Milkyway which is a big player in the softy and ice cream business in Chennai, is expanding its root via franchisee network in parts of India.

Varun Goyal, Owner, Milkyway Ice Cream, says, “We have an ice cream factory in Chennai and have around 7000 square feet facility in Chennai where we manufacture our ice cream with a mixture of freshly made syrups, sauces, creams and caramels. We make around 300 varieties including the milk shakes, sodas etc.”

Movenpick, which made a comeback in the country earlier this year, with a new partner to operate and expand its business in the country, is planning to open its ice cream boutique in Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Tarun Sikka, Managing Director, Star Foods Speciality that runs Movenpick ice cream boutiques in India shares: “Indians are now looking for premium tastes with international quality and standards.”

Making the gourmet ice cream

Players like Natural and Pabrai’s claims to offer 100 per cent natural ice cream, is introducing a wide variety of natural and gourmet flavours in the ice cream market. Pabrai’s, which started its operation in 2008 in Kolkata, has introduced unique varieties in the market like Wasabi ice cream, Macha great ice cream and black sesame to name a few, in the gourmet section. Meanwhile, it has also introduced authentic yet unique flavours like paan ice cream, musk melon and water melon ice creams in 100 per cent natural ingredients category.

“We make 100 per cent natural ice cream without using any artificial colour or essence for flavours. In fact, our process of making ice cream is inspired from traditional methods and techniques which result in a product with a good shelf life of about a year and has unmatched quality and taste,” assures Kunal Pabrai, One of the partner, Pabrai’s Fresh & Naturelle.

Delivering right at the door

Not only this, major player like Baskin Robbins, Natural, Nirula’s, Vadilal, Giani’s have entered the home delivery segment. In addition, these players also offer services for organising birthday parties, outdoor catering, etc, aiming to capture a larger section of the consumers.

Thereby, from all cited examples above, we can say that ice cream industry in India is growing with new as well as global players in the market, who are ready to meet the target of Rs 1,560 crore by 2018.

Franchise India 2015 has opportunity for all who wants to take an ice cream franchisee or meet the biggest investors and brands at the biggest franchise and retail show.

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