LOOKING AT THE EVOLUTION OF THE ICE CREAM AND FROZEN DESSERT MARKET IN INDIA
ICE CREAM is a dessert that we all love! personally its my favourite if given an option between an array of desserts. Its my go to comfort food and nothing gives one more pleasure and joy than a good scoop of ice cream. kids, teens, adults and senior citizens alike, an ice cream can come to the rescue in any fights or even in celebrating joyous occasions with your family and loved ones. Heres is my small analysis on the changing trends that we have seen across the years in the evolution of ice creams and frozen desserts.
Last week held the biggest Exhibition and trade fair show of the Ice cream industry in South East Asia at Mahatma Mandir Exhibition and Convention Centre, Gandhinagar that saw a plethora of regional and national ice cream manufacturers and allied industry makers under one roof to celebrate the growing niche industry.
Although my visit there was purely personal driven being a lover of ice creams, my perspective of looking at this industry changed with the onset and scale of the players that I witnessed there. It brought to light that so many local players and flavors existed in India that were not leveraged on the national scale and yet they had some amazing flavors, techniques and unique offerings.
Made me realize the true potential for this niche but steady growing industry and how it can change the face of upcoming regional players in the market.The ice cream/frozen desserts market category has witnessed substantial evolution in the recent past. upto a decade ago, the category was largely limited to ice creams with traditional flavours e.g. vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, along with some other variants like kesar pista, mango elaichi, traditional kulfi, etc. During the past decade, the category has grown, with an array of innovations in ice-creams now the main subcategory and new subcategories like frozen yogurt , gelato, sorbets, shrikhand coming up.
The Indian ice-cream industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the dairy of food processing industry. India has a low per capita ice cream consumption of ice cream at 400 ml as compared with per capita consumption of 22000 ml in US and 3000 ml in China. with the improving cold chain infrastructure in the country coupled with increasing disposable income and the changing lifestyle, the sector has great potential for growth.
The ice-cream industry in India generated a revenue of more than USD 1.5 Billion in 2016 and is projected to generate revenue of approximately USD 3.4 billion by 2021. Lately frozen desserts which are made out of vegetable oils have been eating into the market share of ice-cream. Key Players offering frozen desserts in India are Kwality walls, Vadilal and Cream Bell.
The ice cream market has been through an evolution wherein the category has grown in shape and form right from consumer perception to the products and services being offered. Ice-cream, which was considered an indulgent category in the past, has now evolved to a stage where it is largely and happily perceived as a snacking option by consumers. this change in perception has come about thanks to increasing disposable incomes and greater discretionary spending. also, the growing reach of the media has allowed operators in this category to expand their range and recall value. the change in the perception of consumers has allowed the category to grow in volume. Ice-cream, as a category, has been growing at a health CAGR of approx 10-15%.
The category’s growth has provided impetus to international and regional players who are foraying into the industry. national operators like Amul, Vadilal, Havmor, Kwality walls and Mother Dairy along with international players like Unilever, CreamBell, Movenpick, etc. occupy the centre stage circled by many regional operators, Amul is the market leader in the ice-cream category making up an almost one-third of market, followed by Hindustan Unilever and Mother Dairy. The growing consumer base, product acceptability, and stiffening competition has pushed operators to strive for competitive advantages through innovations with respect to product offerings and delivery of service.
In India, the Ice-cream industry is mostly regional and there is a multitude of brands focusing on only one or two districts or in some cases only one state. There are very few national brands and the major reason behind slow growth of the smaller players is the high perishability of ice cream products.
Brands adoption of innovation as the mantra with which to allure their customers, via offering better and unique taste variants is matched by the rising aspirations of consumers and their will to pay a premium. Baskin Robbins serves more than 25 flavours in their exclusive stores, e.g. Rum Punch, Mississippi Mud, Banana caramel, etc. Nestle’s Movenpick offers tropical fruit sorbets and sorbet-and-ice-cream combinations while Amul has a wide range of mid-market and premium products and has recently introduced the super-premium Creme Rich.
Vadilal has the largest range of ice-creams in the country with 150 plus flavours, sold in variety of more than 300 packs and forms, The range includes cups, big cups, family packs, and economy packs. The Gujarat-based brand Havmore features such flavours as caramel biscotti, fresh mango, pink currant, pistoria, Tiranga ice candy and a truffle bar, in turbo cones, besides flavours with white chocolate, in addition to its paan and matka ice-creams, bubblegum-flavoured, lollypop ice-cream, Nutty Belgian Dark Chocolate, Kesar Malti, Classic Caramel, and Berry Blast.
Gourmet flavours are gaining in popularity and are the triggers for brands seeking premium positioning. Kolkata based Fresh & Naturelle, for instance has brought out Sandalwood, Japanese green tea and Kolkata meetha paan flavours. similarly, Natural Ice-Cream , which is largely marketed in Maharashtra and Karnataka, includes custard apple and the festival-oriented Makar Sankranthi Special, containing sesame seeds and peanuts, Movenpick has plans for a masala chai flavoured ice-cream. another innovation is the introduction of diet-friendly ice-creams as part of brands premium range, such as low-fat and sugar-free ice cream, as well as ice cream cakes. Besides ice-cream, frozen yoghurt is stepping up as a category within the frozen desserts segment.
A fast-emerging segment is retail service, with brands like Cocoberry, Red Mango, Kiwi kiss, and Yoghurberry selling flavoured/frozen youghurt in signature flavours through exclusive/standalone outlets. Such outlets are present in colleges, schools, office canteens, airports, five-star hotels, and as independent kiosks. The frozen yoghurt category is estimated to make up 10-12% of the Frozen Desserts/ Ice-cream market, is witnessing faster growth than the overall market, at CAGR of 15-16% and is expected to more than double in size over the next five years. The entry of multinational players like Red Mango, Pinkberry, Yogurberry, etc. is likely to widen the market and push its growth beyond current estimates.
Ice cream and confectionary players also operate in complementary product categories with some of the most iconic brands in the market, which creates an exciting opportunity for brands to cross-leverage their equities and consumer base. Cashing in on this opportunity, brands in both the categories have given birth to a new trend, where ice-cream brands are collaborating with major confectionary brands to come up with new products. the association unlocks massive value for the associating brands by bringing new, premium offerings to market.
When HUL’s Kwality Walls launched Cornetto Oreo it brought Oreo lovers to cornetto, and equally provided the experience of oreo to millions of cornetto consumers across the country in new experience for the first time. Perfetti’s alpenlieble had collaborated with Baskin Robbins to launch Alpenlieble juzt jelly strawberry paradise ice-cream.
Consumers changing their preference, and being more inclined towards healthy and premium options, have encouraged international brands like Red Mango and Yogurberry, which have ticket values approximately double the ticket value of domestic brands in the similar segment. similarly, in the ice-cream space as well, players like Swensons, with premium ticket value, are confident of further expansion within the Indian market.
Increasing dairy costs are ramping up transaction costs for traditional ice-cream players which are in turn pushing up prices at the consumer end. however, traditional preferences, e.g. milk based and candy ice-creams, and the wide distribution network of milk-based ice-cream players keeps them stable enough to sustain their market share despite the new and emerging trends of gelatos and frozen yoghurts. Also, as the ice-cream business is volume-driven, the place shift is widely distributed and does not majorly pinch the consumers financially. However, on the flip side, this provides an opportunity for frozen yoghurt and gelato brands not only to educate consumers on the merits of their products but also to expand their manufacturing and distribution capabilities and thus capture an untapped market. However, to increase their market share, ice-cream manufacturers need to optimize their production systems, packaging technologies and cold-chain management, ensure compliance with quality standards, and get their marketing mix.
Globally, many consumers now want to go beyond the “simple” act f consuming products. They instead want to attain greater value by seeking products that somehow offer rewarding experiences. Hence, in countries where ice-cream per capita consumption is as high as 4-5 litres, there are numerous products where confectionary brands and frozen dessert brands have either collaborated to come up with a fusion products or use combination of ingredients to create innovative flavours.
Although the per capita ice-cream consumption is lower in comparison to other major markets, it is however an evolving one, growing at a CAGR of approx 10-15%. This growth is and will, supply momentum to ice-cream consumption, especially in the branded and new/innovative categories. With the growing consumer base, increasing disposable income, and greater trend toward eating-out, the market stands poised to incorporate bigger players and more innovative concepts.
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for such unique experiences today.Consumers are willing to pay for good quality products and brands that appeal to them. India is a massive market with enough headroom for growth at every tier of the market.
Such elevated product experiences guarantees revenues especially when it is with major national brands.With brands investing in creating awareness, innovative products, more consumer touch points, improved and increased distribution and higher benefit products will ensure the category grows faster than ever before.
The big challenge before the industry and the manufacturers is how to make ice-cream affordable for the common Indian, with an efficient distribution!
Source : linkedin