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Kerala ice cream industry growing rapidly

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By introducing a wide range of innovative products and having a strong distribution network, Belgaum-based , promoted by Vijaykant Dairy and Food Products, has marked its presence in Kerala’s ice cream market. The brand is targeting annual sales of Rs 100 crore through 60 distributors and 10,000 outlets, in the next three years

Kerala, a potential market

Prakash Punnamadathil, Marketing Head, Adityaa Milk Ice Cream, said that Kerala ice cream industry is growing rapidly and throws lot of business opportunities. “The Indian Ice cream market, in the last fiscal, achieved a turnover of Rs 2,000 crore. Kerala, the latest entrant in the fastest growing ice cream market, propelled the growth by contributing Rs 600 crore. The branded market at present is valued at Rs 200 crore. The regional brands register sales of Rs 100 crore, and the unbranded market makes business worth Rs 300 crore. That huge latent opportunity and the goodwill of a brand name Adityaa (owing to its quality and hygienic practices) prompted us to enter the Kerala market,” he explains.

Vijaykant Dairy was established in 2006; it handled 5,000 liters of milk and curd daily. Today, the company collects more than two lakh litres of milk every day from farmers spread across 1,500 villages in Karnataka, and employs thousands of people. The company registered a turnover of Rs 150 crore in fiscal year 2013-14.

Natural and tasty

Adityaa Milk Ice Cream is available in 40 flavours in more than 200 SKUs through 60 distributors across 10,000 retail outlets. Based on the price and quality, the brand is available in regular, natural and premium variants. The pricing starts from Rs 5 to Rs 2,090.

Funny Face ice cream is an innovative and unique product from Adityaa, marketed under Masti Zone. Spidy, Tweety, Hear‘N’Heart and special flavours like Royal Raj Bhog, Kaju Draksh, Real Anjir, Twister Delite, Mellow Jellow, Kesar Pista, etc have already become a sensation.

Natural flavours like Chikoo, , Fresh Strawberry, Tender Coconut, and Sithapal are very popular too. Golden Vanilla, Salty Peanuts and Chocolate Hazelnuts are premium flavours.

Easy access, good service

According to Punnamadathil, the brand’s USP is the quality, attractive packing, strong network, and exceptional customer service. “By September end, we will have a presence from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram. Customers would have easy access to our outlets and avail our best service,” he says. The brand has been receiving good response from Malappuram and Kozhikode districts within a very short time of its launch.

Punnamadathil points out that since the company is using its own milk and butter, and transportation, etc, they have been able to control overheads and keep costs to a minimum. “Our biggest strength is our transportation network. , the parent company, spearheaded by , operates a large number of goods transport vehicles and luxury buses. We have a very modern and highly automated manufacturing system in our factory in Belgaum, which ensures consistency in quality of all our products. Plus, labour is cheap in Karnataka as compared to Kerala,” he says.

He adds that all products go through stringent quality tests at the company’s microbiological and quality control lab. “We ensure that only healthy and high quality products are offered to our consumers,” he says.

Marketing

The company has built a strong marketing team to ensure maximum presence for the brand across Kerala, and is currently focussing on promotions by setting up ice cream stalls. “Summer is the most crucial season for ice cream companies, with over 40 per cent of the annual sales occurring in a 3-4 month window. Currently, we are looking at cost-effective platforms that give our brand extra mileage. For instance, at our stall at the Thrissur Pooram festival, more than three lakh people bought our ice creams. We plan to launch an “ice cream on wheels” campaign soon, and will look at more innovative marketing options.”

The brand, already a favourite in Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra, is spreading wings across south India. It has won a gold medal in the premium ice cream category and a silver in the standard vanilla ice-cream category at the Danisco Great Indian Ice Cream Contest.

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“We are confident of the brand’s success in Kerala. We are offering a top-class product and the mission is driven by a dedicated and determined marketing team” said Adityaa Milk Ice Cream Managing Director Shivkant Sidnal.