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Ice- cream market warms up in India; Cold Stone Creamery to open 40 outlets

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Just two weeks after Nestle-owned premium ice cream brand announced its plans to open 50 outlets in India, Arizona, USA-based Cold Stone Creamery, which is known for its fresh handcrafted ice cream, reveals that it is set to enter India with a plan to open 40 store across the country over the next five years.

Made fresh from the finest ingredients and mixed on a cold granite stone with choice of candy, cakes, fruits or nuts, the brand is known to serve made-to-order quality super-premium ice cream products.

has signed a master franchise agreement with Kahala Brands, the parent company of the Cold Stone Creamery brand, to present the chain in India. The company plans to open 40 outlets in India and five in Sri Lanka by 2019, with the first slated to open at LuLu Mall, Kochi, in November this year.

“We are proud, privileged and excited to bring Cold Stone Creamery to India and Sri Lanka. As the premium American ice cream concept, Cold Stone Creamery promotes and encourages a fun and friendly experience through personalised Cold Stone Creations. This partnership is in line with the company’s vision to introduce constant innovation and enthralling food & beverage concepts in the sub-continent,” said , CEO, , in an official statement.

“Over the next five years, the company will invest around Rs 75-85 crore in the Cold Stone Creamery business across India and Sri Lanka. We plan to open the first Cold Stone Creamery at LuLu Mall in Kochi in November this year, followed by a few stores in Bangalore and subsequently other cities in India and Sri Lanka over the coming years,” she added.

As of now, the ice cream market in India is at a nascent stage. Annual per capita consumption of ice cream in India is just around 300ml as compared with about 22,000ml in the US and about 3,000ml in China, according to a study by retail consulting firm .

However, the category is pegged to grow to Rs.6,198 crore in 2019 from Rs.4,160 crore in 2014, according to a study by Euromonitor International released in April. The study did not quantify the size of the premium and super-premium categories.

The overall ice cream market in India is dominated by , a brand owned by the , with a 32% share, according to the study.

“With over 40 Cold Stone Creamery stores planned over the course of the next five years, we know this will be a great market for accelerated growth.” Eddy Jimenez, senior VP, international operations and development, Kahala Brands, said.

The international growth of the brand began in November 2005 when the company
opened its first international store in Tokyo, Japan. Today, its stores are operating in nearly 300 international locations and 26 countries, including the Philippines, Cyprus, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad, Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia.