New brands of homemade ice cream are working to make the ubiquitous dessert a little less forgiving as people search for healthy alternatives to ice cream. Nomou, Minus 30, Noto, Get-A-Whey, and The Brooklyn Creamery are some of the brands that make plant-based, low-calorie, and / or high protein ice cream.
India’s organized ice cream market was worth Rs 13,800 crore in 2019, according to Deloitte. This category is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% over the next three years. While healthier variations of food products were sought after during the pandemic, can these new age ice cream brands stand up to older brands like Amul, Mother Dairy, Havmor, and Kwality Wall’s?
The sweet spot
Nomou started as a vegan ice cream brand in 2018 and has partnered with just one restaurant with a vegan menu. “Slowly more and more restaurants and cafes wanted to add our line of ice creams because customers were looking for healthy variations,” says Samir Prasad, founder of Nomou.
While the HoReCa segment remained closed for most of 2020, Nomou began retailing its products in June 2020. Now the brand is retailing through food delivery aggregators Swiggy and Zomato, sells directly to consumers through its own website and is present in modern commerce. stores like Nature’s Basket and Foodhall.
Pashmi Shah, co-founder of Get-A-Whey, launched the whey ice cream alternative about two years ago, targeting fitness enthusiasts, people with diabetes and those who diet. keto. She says the company sold more than 50,000 units of ice cream jars between 2019 and 2020. That number has increased four times since the pandemic, and the company is making around 5 crore rupees a year now.
Minus 30 sells a range of sugar-free and vegan ice creams, in addition to traditional ice creams that contain refined sugar. Shivanie Mirchandani, her co-founder, says the healthy variations are more popular than the classics. The company has two manufacturing centers in Delhi and Chennai from where it serves 15 markets.
Brands that sell healthy, low-calorie variations of ice cream have higher prices for their products. For example, a 500ml jar of Nomou ice cream can cost between Rs 445 and Rs 700, a Keto ice cream from Get-A-Whey costs Rs 650 for a 500ml jar and Minus 30 charges Rs 1000 for 500ml of vegan. , sugar-free ice cream. This price limits the addressable market for these brands. In contrast, a 1000ml jar of Amul ice cream costs around Rs 200. Prasad de Nomou says the company is working to reduce prices by increasing manufacturing capacity and finding alternative ingredients.
The biggest obstacle for these brands is cold chain logistics. Most have only one manufacturing facility and ship products across the country from one or two hubs. For example, Noto, which only ships to Mumbai, takes 24 hours to deliver when an order is placed on its website. Creating a strong distribution network will be crucial in gaining new customers.
Analysts believe it will take some time for these brands to challenge established players who are also working on low-sugar variants. “These are micro-brands that cannot afford to reach a large market,” says Harish Bijoor, founder of Harish Bijoor Consults. These brands could leverage a cloud kitchen network to strengthen their reach, he adds.
Going direct to the consumer may have worked in favor of these brands, but having a significant offline presence is what is needed next, analysts say. “Being present at more external points of consumption such as modern shops, shopping centers, airports, etc. will be crucial for these brands, ”says Anand Ramanathan, Partner, Deloitte India.
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