Brands play to the ice cream stands
Havmor, Vadilal look for a national presence, while Amul, Mother Dairy, Magnum and Baskin Robbins spar over a slice of the premium market
Sohini Das | Ahmedabad May 4, 2016 Last Updated at 21:30 IST
With India’s ice-cream industry growing at close to 17 per cent, regional brands Havmor and Vadilal have upped the decibel levels and taken their campaigns national this year while veterans – Amul, Mother Dairy and Kwality Walls among others – are banking on new flavours and an emerging premium category in urban areas to expand the market.
From Rs 7,300 crore in 2014, the ice-cream category has bumped up to Rs 8,530 crore in 2015, points out a recent Euromonitor analysis. And according to several companies, volumes have grown about 30 per cent or so in March and April over the same period in the previous year. A hot summer is expected to push revenues up even further. Sumit Mathur, general manager, HUL says, “India continues to be one of the lowest per capita consumers of ice cream in the world. However, this is changing with the category growing in high double digits and ‘out of home impulse’ consumption being on the rise.”
GCMMF’s (Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation which owns the Amul brand) managing director R S Sodhi says, “Sales are very good this year, growing at least 30 per cent month on month as compared to the last season. We are also adding capacity, which will be ready within the next two months.” Amul had expanded its sticks manufacturing capacity three-fold last year.
Rise of the regionals
Pradeep Chona’s brand Havmor is among the big advertisers this season. The company has roped in Publicis to create television commercials that targets children as the end consumer. Chona explains, “We are present in nine states, and are all set to enter our tenth. Soon, we would be an all-India brand. Our TVCs too would be dubbed in regional languages.” Chona claims his firm is clocking 25 per cent growth rate over the past few years. Havmor plans to double capacity (from 200,000 litres per day) over the next couple of years.
Havmor started out as an ice-cream store in Karachi and after its founders moved to Ahmedabad, was served out of handcarts. The company still does not feature in the top five players of 2015 as per data from Euromonitor, but it is aiming big with its recent advertising splash on national media.
Another Gujarat-based player, Vadilal Industries, recently roped in popular actress Parineeti Chopra as its brand ambassador. “We chose Parineeti to tell our brand’s story as she comes across as a bubbly, cheerful person and ice-creams are all about enjoyment,” says Vadilal’s managing director Rajesh Gandhi.
Pitching it right
Traditionally, the ice-cream buyer has been classified as someone who makes an impulse purchase, a positioning that many brands still follow. In Vadilal ads, for instance, the message is ice-creams are all about having a good time.
Players like Amul (GCMMF) and Havmor are positioning their ice-creams as healthy products with healthy ingredients. Havmor’s tagline is ‘Goodness of pure milk in Havmor ice creams’ and Amul’s ‘Real milk Real ice cream’ are similar as they both convey the purity of the product. The brands are thereby separating themselves from the others while scoring points in the ongoing debate over frozen desserts and ice-creams by highlighting the use of milk cream and not vegetable fat in their products. This appeals to the urban, health conscious consumers.
Premium category player Baskin Robbins, however, is not harping on health. Like Vadilal, it has chosen to pitch its ice-creams around the ‘happy-ness’ quotient, but they are looking at young adults rather than children as end consumers. “Our target audience is not essentially the kids, but young adults (16-30 years), and we have taken care to go for a ‘cool’ packaging,” says Baskin Robbins’ South Asia head Sanjay Coutinho.
Many brands are focusing on their premium range. Amul is pushing Epic through TVCs and hoardings, while Vadilal is doing the same with Gourmet and Bada Bite Select range. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has launched a new brownie flavour in its Magnum range.
Going premium means reaching out to a different set of customers. And perhaps that is why ice-cream brands are increasingly turning to celebrity endorsers for their products. Kwality Walls associated with designer Monisha Jaising for the ‘Pleasure Seeker Collection’ at Lakme Fashion Week 2016. For its new campaign Cornetto has Alia Bhatt as the brand ambassador.
The premium category is likely to see more action in the coming months. Brands such as Magnum, Cornetto and Paddlepop from HUL will be pitted against Amul’s Epic and Vadilal’s Bada Bite. Industry sources indicated that competitive pricing by players like Amul (Epic at Rs 40) forced Unilever to slash prices of its Magnum range from Rs 95 to Rs 75. As the summer sizzles, price wars are only going to get more intense this year.
Ice cream makers form association
BS Reporter / Mumbai/ Ahmedabad July 11, 2011, 0:40 IST
In a bid to increase consumption and enhance quality standards, ice cream manufacturers’ in the cooperative and private sectors of India have got together to form the Indian Ice Cream Manufacturers’ Association (IICMA).
Based out of Ahmedabad, the 80 member strong association was formally launched on Saturday after getting registered with the Registrar of Companies.
“All small, medium and large ice cream players have come together to form the association. The move was driven by the need to promote ice cream consumption and upgrade the product quality,” said Rajesh Gandhi, president, IICMA and managing director, Vadilal Industries Ltd.
With the new association of ice cream makers formed, the industry will now be working towards seeking better measures including reduction value added tax (VAT). “Recently government added one per cent excise duty, over and above the VAT. Ice cream in India is considered a luxury and taxed highest. In Gujarat there is a 15 per cent levy of VAT on ice cream. In other countries, there are no tax on food item like ice cream. In India, it requires this attention,” said Gandhi.
Among the members include the likes of Vadilal Industries, Havmor Ice-cream, Hindustan Unilever for Kwality Walls, Arun Ice-cream, Cream Bell Ice-cream, Lazza Ice-cream, Top N Town, Scoops Ice-cream, and Dairy Day Ice-cream.
However, with the board’s approval pending, Amul has as of now in-principle agreed to be part of the association, said Gandhi.
According to Gandhi, the ice cream market in India is estimated at Rs 2,500 crore in the organised sector growing at 20 per cent. The per capita consumption is around 300 ml per annum in India while it is 700 ml in Pakistan, three litres in China and 22 litres in developed countries like the USA, Japan, Germany and others.
“In terms of units, both organised and unorganised players put together, the Indian ice cream market stands at 350 million litres, of which Gujarat has the largest share of 15 per cent. With the formation of an association, we are looking at increasing consumption, food safety and quality, as well as better networking and knowledge sharing amongst members,” added Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the association is all set to add over 200 ice cream manufacturers as members from across India in the future.