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Cream Centre to launch premium ice cream chain

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Baskin Robbins may soon face competition at the premium end of the ice cream market.

Sanjiv Chona, whose family claims to have pioneered the manufacture of ice cream in India, is all set to revisit his roots by launching a high-end ice cream retailing format that aims to provide Haagen Dazs type premium ice creams.

“We are in the process of setting up high-end ice cream cafes of 1,500-2,000 square feet size each which will be hangout places for our target audience and serve everything from sundaes and desserts to coffee. With this endeavour we hope to revive the heritage of ice cream making of our family. The Chona family had started making ice creams in India 65 years before Kwality did,” said Chona.

The format is likely to be called ‘Ice cream World by Cream Centre’. The speciality of the ice creams is that they will be completely eggless and high fat, and will use flavours imported from the USA, France and Italy. Chona claims that he has spent over 12 months developing a range of 24-36 flavours such as Sicilian Pista.

Chona along with Sunil Kapur was the pioneer of the Gelato Italiano format, which serves low fat sorbets. The venture is now a part of Future Group’s Pan India Food Solutions.

While the initial batch of outlets, expected to debut in the next two quarters, will be company owned, Chona also plans franchisee outlets which will be serviced by the backend support he has built for franchisees of Cream Centre, the iconic vegetarian restaurant controlled by him.

Discounting any threat, Sunil Pardal, executive director at Baskin Robbins, said, “We are well established in our own space and have created a niche for ourselves in the Indian market.”

Baskin Robbins plans to open around 100 stores across tier I and tier II cities over a period of one year. The company has 50-55 per cent share of the Indian ice cream market.

The market size for premium ice creams in the parlour segment is estimated at Rs 250-300 crore and is growing at 10-12 per cent.

Source : Financial Chronicle

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