Ice-cream, as a category, has been growing at a healthy CAGR of 20-22%.
As it’s usually said, “an ice-cream solves everything”. Ice creams have been the most enjoyed dessert all over the world and for all age groups. From being considered as an indulgence to becoming a snacking option, the ice-cream industry in India has grown remarkably in the last decade. From roadside ice-cream carts to air-conditioned outlets and kiosk in malls with a variety of flavours, the ice cream industry in India has undergone a major revolution in the last few years.
Till about 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.
But, in recent times, the category has grown with an array of innovations in the ice creams flavours. Customers are increasingly opting for fresh fruit-based and exotic flavoured ice creams like hazelnut, Belgian chocolate, tender coconut, etc.
With innovation in flavours, different variations of ice cream are also in vogue. One such trend is Nitrogen ice creams, ice cream which is prepared live and according to the customer’s preference, using liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze the all-fresh natural cream base.
The Making of Nitrogen Ice-Cream
Nitrogen ice-cream or instant ice-cream, are prepared using liquid nitrogen as a coolant. The idea revolves around the molecular gastronomy freezing concept, utilizing the liquid to instantly freeze fresh ingredients into ice cream. The state-of-the-art machines instantly freeze the all-natural liquid base in the bowl into ice cream. Customers are stunned as liquid nitrogen flows into the bowl, expands in the air as smoke, and then evaporates right in front of their eyes, leaving only a light grey fog show and fresh ice cream behind.
High Growth Market
Ice cream as an industry holds huge growth potential with almost 22% CAGR growth on an annual basis. This is predominantly due to changes in eating habits of both millennials and elder generation. Moreover, people are now also more cautious of what they eat and hence are more inclined towards consuming freshly made ice creams without any preservatives.
Customers are also demanding interactive experience, thus industry players are innovating a way to offer DIY ice-cream flavours or create your own flavour ice-cream. Only Liquid nitrogen enables the brands to create instant ice-cream customised according to consumer’s taste buds. The change in the perception of consumers has allowed the category to grow in volume.
Talking about the market, Vikrant Tomer COO-International, Ice cream Lab, said, “The ice cream business holds great opportunities. Ice cream is one category which has not been explored in much detail, except for a couple of brands. So, the bandwidth is very high and the best part of the ice cream business is that your capital expense and your operating expense are not very high and your return on investment is marginally better than other kinds of food businesses.”
Coolest Franchise Opportunity
Nitrogen Ice-cream appeals the coolness quotient of the urban connoisseurs looking out for a unique experience and is slowly spreading to the tier II & III cities. This has made nitrogen ice-cream a profitable business opportunity, and the market potential has been witnessed by the inundation of nitrogen ice-cream franchises in India. Brands such as The Frosty Cream, Ice cream lab etc. is offering profitable franchise opportunity to aspirants.
Starting a nitrogen ice-cream franchise doesn’t require huge capital investment and operational costs are also lower. One can start a franchised outlet within a minimum investment of INR 15 lakhs, for the kiosk format and it may range up to 30-35 lakhs for the store format depending upon the size of the location. The area requirement ranges from 200-400 sq. ft.
One can expect an average return on investment of around 106% within a payback period of 1-2 years. The profit margin would be around 32 per cent, excluding corporate salaries and the operational expenses will cost no more than 30 to 35 per cent.