SUGAR (Brain-Freeze) TRICK !
By Alisha Sharma
File photos. Photos by the author; Copyright: Right Impact Media Inc.
It’s the ultimate delicacy for people in love and too much of it will give you a brain freeze. Whether it's chocolate or butterscotch, vanilla or strawberry flavour(s), everyone loves gorging on these heavenly sweet, frozen treats for the soul. The good old orange popsicle is reminiscent of our childhood. As soon as summer starts taking its toll, the ambrosial ice cream comes to the rescue for many looking for a relief from the dull, exhausting heat. But for many others, winters are perfect season to pop the scoops!
The genesis of this great invention, it is believed lies in China. “An ice cream-like edible delight was first eaten in China in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, had 94 ice men who helped to make a dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor…while Roman emperors are supposed to have sent slaves to mountain tops to bring back fresh snow that was flavoured and served as a prototype icecream.” - (gelatospecialists.com).
The ice cream industry in India is a flourishing one, valued at approximately Rs.3,000 crore including the unorganized sector. It is expected to double to Rs.6,000 crore in the coming few years. According to a survey by Associated Chambers Of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in 2012, Gujarat and Delhi together account for 30% of the total ice cream consumption in the country. It is topped by western India accounting for 35% of the total sales proceeded by 30% in the north, 20% in the south and 15% in the eastern region. The per capita consumption is low at just 300 ml in contrast to the 2,400 ml in the US. Ice cream market in India is growing at a considerable rate as Indians are slowly but steadily switching to eating ice cream as dessert instead of the traditional sweets.
There are a multitude of options available for the Indian consumers with the major players being Amul, Vadilal, Kwality Walls, Cream Bell, Mother Dairy etc. Amul, a brand synonymous with milk and milk products forayed into the ice cream market in 1996 and posed a major threat to the existing brands in the business. Backed by its reputed brand name, it now occupies the largest market share at 40%. An admixture of the Indian company Kwality of India and Wall's from UK, both of which are now owned by Hindustan Unilever, Kwality Wall's occupies the second largest market share, with an impressionable 20% in the year 2012. The company is recognized by its signature frozen desserts like cornetto, paddle pop, fruttare, feast, kulfeez and swirls that are famously appreciated by the connoisseurs.
According to The Brand Trust Report - 2014, Vadilal Industries Ltd has come forth as the country's most trusted brand for the second time in a row. With a turnover of Rs. 550 crore, it is the third largest ice cream brand in India. Established in 1907, the Gujarat based company had humble beginnings and now has nationwide presence being one of the biggest names in the ice cream industry. This company proudly produces the largest variety of ice creams with 150 plus flavours which are sold in more than 300 forms which includes bars, cones, cups and candies to name a few. Other brands that impact the icecream industry in India are Mother Dairy and Cream Bell which hold the 4th and 5th position in the market share.
With rapid urbanization and increasing incomes, people don't mind spending exorbitant amount of money for relishing world brands in luxury, and this has been extended to the icecream industry as well! Adapting to consumer tastes, many premium ice cream brands have entered the market. Haagen-Dazs is an American company which ventured into the Indian market in 2009 and certainly oozes luxury with one scoop costing approximately Rs.190. Giving direct threat to Haagen-Dazs, London Dairy, has competitively priced its icecream products starting at Rs.100 for a 125ml cup.
We spoke with Vikrant Singhal, a businessman, who said “Although the prices are certainly steep, the taste and quality of premium brands like Haagen-Dazs is incredible and the kind of variety and concepts it offers is something that is hard to find in other brands”.
Existing companies have also given in to the demand for premium ice cream, as Amul recently launched “Amul Creme Rich”, which is said to be the creamiest icecream at 16% milk fat. Kwality Wall's has introduced its premium product called “Magnum” in a few cities and is expected a nationwide rollout in the future. The decadent toothsome product features Belgian chocolate which is available in three flavours; classic, almond and chocolate truffle and is priced at Rs. 85 per stick.
While the most common way of purchasing ice cream is through ice cream carts, the concept of ice cream parlours have also emerged in the Indian markets with several brands in existence. Ice cream parlours aim to provide comfort for people to enjoy ice creams, sundaes and shakes in a cosy environment. The first one that comes to mind is Giani's with over 30 outlets in Delhi. Established in 1956, Giani's is one of the most popular ice cream parlour in Delhi.
“I prefer Giani's because of its vast menu which includes ice cream sundaes, shakes and sodas apart from distinct icecream flavours like California Mania and Punjabi Delight amongst many. Also, it is easily accessible and offers home delivery” said Akriti Arora, a 19 year old undergraduate student. Chain of parlours called “Swirls” by Kwality Walls ,“Amul Scooping Parlours”and Nirula's ice cream parlours are also doing well. Foreign brands like Baskin Robbins, Gelato Italiano and Haagen-Dazs are doing good business by featuring distinct international flavours in their menu.
Despite all that has been said above, ice cream consumption in India is one of the lowest in the world. However, with so many different brands targeted towards various income groups, the industry is expected to grow manifold.
A food item for many occasions - in times of celebrations or as a dessert or even in sadness, ice cream holds a special place for people with a sweet tooth. Although only for a few moments, the delectable ice cream hues and flavours can surely make one forget about the blistering summer blues and be the terrific mood elevator.