With a wide range of choices, ice cream is one such eatable that is liked by everybody. Be it seven or seventy, the vibrant colours and the delicious flavours are both a treat to the eyes and mind. During the last few decades, there has been a rise in consumerism and along with it a surge in consumer awareness as well. The Ice-cream industry is no exception. Starting from the ‘Gali ke Ice-cream uncle’ to luxury Ice-cream parlours, things have changed quite a lot. With a plethora of consumer-conscious variants, artisanal ice cream has been the talk of the town. A perfect amalgamation of taste, healthy ingredients, and calorie limits, these ice creams are slowly on the rise. As your Intra-city Logistics Partner, Just Deliveries has had the experience of observing artisanal ice-cream brands from proximity. So here are the knits-n-grits of the factors that have significantly contributed to the development of the Artisanal Ice-Creams in India.
What are Artisanal Ice-Creams?
It is needless to say that an ‘Artisan’ holds the utmost expertise in his crafts. Taking great care in curating every artefact and infusing that ‘Rare’ factor in every product is what makes an artisan different from any random commercial manufacturer of its analogies. Likewise, Artisanal ice creams are premium quality products that are prepared from specially handpicked ingredients and made in small batches. These brands uphold quality over quantity (Just like us!). Just before five to ten years, the existence of Artisanal ice creams in India was almost nil. Now, even the smallest of cities have at least one ice cream parlour that is dedicated to artisanal ice creams. This huge shift was influenced by several factors and had great positive ramifications for the industry. Let’s delve deep into it!
Artisanal Ice-creams serve an abundant diversity of flavours including conventional ones like vanilla, chocolate, and many more. What makes it stand out from the rest of the queue is the variety of ‘not-so-popular’ tastes. The perfect balance strikes with a well-thought infusion of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter that feel like an explosion of flavours. Flavours like sea salt chocolate and ginger pineapple might seem like absurd combinations but are tremendously popular customer choices. Such amalgamations are pre-planned and curated with lots of effort and knowledge, which is rare to find in commercial set-ups.
The modern era is all about fitness-friendly choices. A scoop of sweet and calorie-laden ice cream is enough to send you on a guilt trip and take hours of workouts to get back in shape. Premium artisanal ice creams are curated with just the right amount of calories that will never exceed your daily intake and you can have them without any reluctance. Moreover, most of these brands are completely organic and free of preservatives and chemicals that are a part-n-parcel of commercial ice creams.
Many a time, there is no direct interaction between the consumer and customer in commercial backdrops and it is mostly about a buy-and-sell relationship. On the other hand, artisanal brands incorporate personalized small tokens of emotions in their unique ways. For instance, many of these brands, while delivering their products, add a small note with the names of customers, explaining how valued and cherished they are! These gestures build a strong foundation of trust between these cottage brands and the customers. In turn, the latter is retained and increases the brand value as well. It is needless to say that such tokens can’t be expected from commercial ice cream brands.
Lactose-Intolerance is a common problem for many people. Lactose is a sugar that is an inherent property of milk. Some people do not have the digestive capabilities to assimilate Lactose. When such people consume dairy products, severe nausea, and stomach cramps may start. Artisanal brands have found a way for such people to enjoy their products. Using organic dairy substitutes like chickpeas, soy milk and almond milk has made their premium quality ice-creams enjoyable, suitable, and accessible to all.
With purely organic and healthy ingredients, artisanal brands have set a keystone example for commercial brands in creating a perfect combination of taste and health. The nourishing and delectable taste is almost impossible to imitate with chemicals, artificial flavours, and preservatives. As quality always wins over quantity, artisanal brands have been able to soar higher and higher.
As compared to the commercial bulk-producing ice cream brands, Artisanal brands are quite young in the market. Still, at a budding stage, the brands are more susceptible to market fluctuations than the former. With the pandemic hit, many small artisanal ice-cream start-ups were forced to shut down their operations and those that survived this huge jolt faced a tremendous financial crunch. Another major problem is the sheer wastage of products that the industry has to deal with. Artisanal ice creams are perishables and as already mentioned, most of them lack chemical preservatives that would’ve otherwise increased the shelf-life by several folds. In such cases, the wastage of products due to priorly unforeseen factors is a cause of concern for these small-scale producers. Therefore, the journey of Artisanal brands was never a bed of roses.
The Silver Lining in the Cloud: What do the Figures Say?
In 2019, the global market for artisanal ice cream brands was estimated at USD 1.62 Billion and is expected to rise to USD 9.92 Billion by 2026! This means a ravishing growth of 7.1% CAGR between 2019-2026. In India, the picture is equally promising with the market seeing a gradual yet powerful rise in popularity. According to a report, from 2020 to 2027 the market is expected to see a growth of 14.10% CAGR. Such tremendous growth can be attributed to social media influencers, health bloggers, and other influential personalities coming forward to support these products on their merit. The innovative branding, aesthetics, and health-conscious approach are the icing on the cake.
Just Deliveries has had the opportunity to deal with many artisanal ice cream brands. Their valued opinions have provided great insight into the current market scenario. Our well-known client ‘Go Zero’ by Apsara has a very simple proposition which is to let everyone enjoy their ice creams and desserts with zero guilt. The major challenge they have faced is in the arena of logistics. Being a temperature-sensitive product, a minus temperature is needed to be maintained throughout the delivery chain. Moreover, customers are used to tasting ice creams at parlours. So, to make them buy pre-packed ice cream without prior tasting experience is quite a challenge. For India, there is still very low per capita consumption of ice cream, so there is definitely room to grow more. With 8-10 new ice cream brands launched last year, the momentum is here to stay! Artisanal ice creams are assumed to grow at twice the pace of the general ice cream industry, which is quite a good indication as the post-pandemic customer is more aware of what goes into their stomach.
Alyssa Chesson from Bono shares a similar optimistic insight. The brand does not consider commercial brands as big competitors as there is a vast difference in taste and quality of the product. Introducing unconventional flavours like Dark Chocolate sea salt, Pondicherry vanilla, and Dark chocolate Italian Truffle oil is very popular with their customer base. They see this space growing bigger as more people are coming to understand the difference between niche and mass made. Also, not using stabilizers or added preservatives is attracting a health-conscious customer base to the brand. Therefore, Health-friendly eating options are only here to grow by several folds in the future.
With a lot of hurdles, the journey of artisanal ice creams was not easy. However, it has been standing unshakeable amidst the turbulence of the economy, and market even during these post-pandemic times when things are just getting back to normal. Working with many of these brands, we, at Just Deliveries, have learned that grit and resilience are a need for every organization. Upholding the values of the customers, let us support these cottage brands for their positive contribution to the industry.