Ice-cream is typically regarded as a seasonal product, with demand peaking during the summer months. Winter witnesses a sharp decline in consumption and resultant dip in sales and profits. However, with the marketplace teeming with a host of innovative frozen variants, which consumers are enjoying even in the cold months, there is a surge in winter sales.
Increasing urbanisation, rising incomes, consumer awareness, improved cold supply chain, growing deep freezer penetration, and growth of modern format retail facilities are giving a fillip to the country’s frozen desserts business, which is highly capital intensive.
Annual per capita consumption of ice cream in India is around 300 ml as compared with about 22,000 ml in the US and about 3,000 ml in China, according to a study by retail consulting firm Technopak Advisors.
However, the annual consumption in India is pegged to grow to Rs 6,198 crore by 2019 from Rs 4,160 crore in 2014, according to a study by Euromonitor International. The study did not quantify the size of the premium and super-premium categories.
The overall ice cream market in India is dominated by Amul, a brand owned by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, with a 32 per cent share, according to the study.
Currently growing at 12-15 per cent annually, the future prospects of India’s ice-cream market seem promising for manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. A number of regional players have also started expanding. Here is a taste of some of the top ice-cream retailers in Delhi:-
Need to know: Founded in 1961, the Mövenpick brand has delighted Swiss consumers for more than four decades, and today it offers joy to ice cream lovers around the world including 300 boutiques throughout Europe, Asia and Australia, and is served in five-star restaurants and hotels in more than 40 countries around the world.
The gourmet dessert destination menu boasts of 22 ice cream flavours. The global ice cream brand owes its inspiration to a revolutionary vision of culinary excellence that swept through Swiss restaurants in the 1960s. Mövenpick offers a full service cafe.
The premium ice cream brand is brought in India by entrepreneur Tarun Sikka, Director, Nectar Hospitality. Sikka is charting a steady expansion plan for Mövenpick in India while maintaining the brand’s premium nature and quality. He says, “Mövenpick ice creams embody the Swiss ethos of perfection, creativity and attention to detail.
From its inception, Mövenpick brand has been using natural ingredients for its range of products like Bourbon vanilla pods from the tropical forests of Madagascar, the finest cocoa beans from the Maracaibo region of Venezuela or Canadian maple syrup from Quebec. We believe in offering our customers an indulgent menu which is a mix of old classics and new favourites in a fun environment, where they can experience the world class hospitality, that Mövenpick is famous for.”
Must try: Swiss Chocolate, Espresso Croquant, Creme Brulee Espresso and Macadamia
Where: DLF Mall of India, Noida and Select Citywalk, Saket
Cost for two: Rs 450
Need to know: Piccolicko was launched with the simple mission of providing 100 per cent natural authentic Italian ice-creams. The ice-cream is made using ingredients imported directly from Italy which assures the rich taste and quality of all products. The ice-creams have a fat content which is approximately 70 per cent less than regular ice-cream.
Deepak Agrawal along with his partner Deepak Bedi started his ice-cream journey as a pilot project by setting up kiosks in PVR. But when they did not see much traction, they decided to shift to a delivery model.
Agrawal says, “In 2015, we set up our first outlet at Select Citywalk and soon we will be rolling out the franchisee model. We also deliver in Gurugram and South Delhi. Currently, we have around 20 flavours on offer.”
Must try: Gourmet Coffee, Strawberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Fudge cake
Where: Select Citywalk, Saket
Cost for two: Rs 240
3Natural Ice Cream
Need to know: What started out as a 300 sq ft parlour in Juhu, today, has become the definition of Mumbai’s delectable taste for desserts. But it was not an overnight miracle. The journey of RS. Kamath, founder of Natural Ice Cream, was long and accounts to a quarter of a century.
The journey of setting the ice cream business started in his younger years, while assisting his father, a fruit dealer, when he got his expertise in fruits. Later on, while working with his brother who ran a chain of eateries and served ice cream, he learnt all about ice cream. This powerful combination lead to the creation of Natural Ice Cream. However, like most journeys, there are always hurdles to cross.
One such hurdle was the equipment used to make the ice cream. Because of its manual use in nature, it became quite a task to increase the production capacity and keep up with the rising demand. So, Kamath invented a machine that could produce more ice cream using the same method. In the process he also invented a machine that could de-seed fruits in a very short time.
Natural Ice Cream is deeply rooted in tradition and uses traditional methods to make ice cream. All the ingredients used are almost completely natural and are sourced from India. No preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colours or chemicals are used. The ice cream contains less air which makes it rich and creamy.
With 25 years of being in the business, 120 outlets across the country and the recently launched state-of the-art factory in Mumbai, Natural Ice Cream is still raring to go places.
Must try: Sitaphal, Tender Coconut, Malai and Coffee Walnut
Where: Rajouri Garden, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash 2
Cost for two: Rs 150
Need to know: The founders of Cherry Comet (read: engineer friends) – Rohan Bajla, Saransh Goyal and Anirudh Singh – chanced upon nitrogen ice cream and Bangkok on a holiday and decided to bring it to India. They set up their first store in 2014 at DLF Cyberhub, Gurugram and since than there has been no looking back. Without the use of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and stabilisers, they make their ice-creams fresh.
Cherry Comet currently has 27 flavours on their menu, and liquid nitrogen being their USP.
According to Saransh Goyal, “Cherry Comet plans to open three more outlets this fiscal and expand their reach in other cities in next two-three years. Apart from liquid nitrogen ice-creams, we also have sorbets for the ones who love to wind up their day in a fat-free way. Additionally, there is no air in ice cream created using liquid nitrogen process, so customers get the exact weight they pay for.”
Must try: Belgian Bolero, Atrangi Imli and Banarasi Punch
Where: CyberHub, Gurugram and Sangam Courtyard, RK Puram
Cost for two: Rs 250
5Pabrai’s Fresh n Naturelle
Need to know: Pabrai’s Fresh and Naturelle was started by brothers Kunal and Nishant Pabrai under the guidance of their father Anurat Pabrai in 2008. Pabrai brothers observed that during 1998 – 2008, there was no innovation in the ice-cream industry, price war was increasing and competitors to have an edge were degrading the quality of their products. So they decided to focus on their core strength of technical abilities to make best quality of ice-creams.
Pabrai’s Fresh and Naturelle makes highly unique, highly exotic ice-creams which do not use any artificial flavours or colours as everything is 100 per cent natural. They use natural ingredients and fresh fruits to make the ice-creams. Apart from regular flavours, they are also known for their cuisine-based flavours.
Kunal Parbrai says, “At present, we have 50 flavours which are sold in 25 parlours across 10 cities. In coming 24 months, we are planning to expand our presence by taking the total parlour count to 50. We operate on robust franchise model.”
Must try: Noel Gur, Lemongrass and Sandalwood
Where: Connaught Place
Cost for two: Rs 200