In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Nitin Arora, CEO, Creambell Ice Cream shares the journey of Creambell Ice cream in India and how it became one of the top brands in the country.
Tell us about the journey of Creambell?
Creambell was launched in 2003. In a short span of 10 years, Creambell has emerged as one of the top 5 brands in the highly competitive ice cream segment in the country. During this journey, on back of the fantastic consumer response, the company has worked on further streamlining the backend/internal business process - right from the creation & capacity consolidation of our three wholly owned state-of-the-art production facilities (Baddi, Kosi & Goa) to strengthening of Channel partners, Logistics & Cold chain. We are now engaged in improving availability of our brand in geographies we are presently available in.
Creambell has, over the years, been the recipient of many prestigious awards including India’s most promising Brand 2014 in WCRC Leader’s Asia Summit held at London. Creambell has also won Gold award in kid’s category at The Great Indian Ice Cream Contest 2013.
What is the USP of the brand? How many locations are you present?
Creambell is in step with the young India. We appeal to the changing tastes of today's consumers and we understand that he or she will not settle for anything less. Therefore, we are prepared to go extra mile to offer world class products with innovations never experienced in packaged ice creams and surprise our customers. We are proud of our technical competence and would like to be considered as the trend setters when it comes to innovations. For Creambell, innovation is the mantra!
We are currently present Pan India except Kerala.
Tell us a bit about the consumption pattern of your customer base. What is mostly preferred by them- online orders/ take away or dine-in?
During the last few decades there's a conspicuous trend. There is considerable increase in the at-home consumption. Earlier majority of the consumption contribution came from generic flavours such as vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
This base is continually expanding and more new flavors are being accepted by today's consumer. While push carts still account for maximum sales, traditional and now modern retail too is witnessing good growth.
We have started home deliveries in select geographies and that has got an amazing response. Overall, Ice cream still remains a largely impulse purchase though in-home consumption is growing at a very healthy pace. Also, improved and innovative packaging, better electricity supply (at least in major cities) and more efficient distribution channels have played a vital role in pushing up the consumption of ice cream at home. Today multi-serve pack sales are growing at 20-25 per cent at Creambell.
What is the real-estate market scenario? Which according to you is mostly preferred in the region-high streets/malls? Why?
We are predominantly present in over 55000 retail stores and have 10000 push carts, pan India. Ice cream is all about availability; the closer we are to consumers the better it is, due to harsh summers. We thus place our reach accordingly.
What does the growth look like for you in the Northern region/Pan India? How is Ice cream market growing over the years?
Creambell is today one of the fastest growing ice-cream brands in India. We expect to close 2014-15 with a sales turnover of Rs 500 crore on the back of capacity enhancement and retail expansion. In addition to this, we are looking at increasing our number of static outlets by 20 per cent over the existing base by the end of 2015.
The Indian ice cream market is one of the fastest growing sectors amongst the Indian food market, posting a CAGR of 15 per cent in the period 2007–2012. It is further expected to increase to a 17.6 per cent CAGR during 2012–2017.
The organized ice cream industry has a turnover of around Rs 2500 crore. However, the per capita consumption of ice creams in India is a mere 325 ml compared to 23 litres in the US, 18 litres in Australia, 14 litres in Sweden. Even Pakistan is way ahead at 800 ml.
Are you planning to take IPO route?
Yes, we are in the process of exploring this route.
Tell us about your marketing and branding strategies. How do you differentiate yourself from competition?
Creambell thrives on innovation. It looks at product quality and creativity to be amongst its key driver in the coming years. Our motto is to delight the consumer with our product offering and believe in word of mouth to be the most powerful ambassador of our brand. Our confidence stems from the growing base of loyal consumers who continue to patronize Creambell for its superiority in product attributes.
We differentiate from other brand through our quality, innovative products and wide availability. Creambell’s supreme ice cream experience has helped us propel our brand to among the top 5 ice cream brands in India.
What is your biggest achievement so far? What is your share in the fast growing ice cream market?
Our key achievements have been in product development, innovation (both in product and packaging), new go-to-market strategies, clear positioning and growing presence and geographical reach in a relatively short span of time.
Three things that we are proud of are:
1) Creambell has registered 30 per cent growth in the last 3-4 years. This makes it the fastest growing brand in the country.
2) Creambell has, in a short span of 10 years, has notched up a 15 per cent market share in the regions it is available in currently, thus, making it amongst the top 5 brands in the country.
3) We are the only ice-cream player that has three company-owned manufacturing plants i.e. in Baddhi/ Koshi/ Goa and our plants are ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 22000:2005 Certified.
Creambell currently has a 15 per cent market share and is aiming for a market share of 18-20 per cent in next 5 years time.
Who do you see as your competitor?
All the leading ice cream brands are our competition and we thrive on that. In our short journey we have been able to compete strongly to win over consumers with our innovative range and quality. Healthy competition is a must for good brands and keeps them on their toes.
What is your expansion plan across the country?
We have always been very strong in the northern region followed by the central India. In the last couple of years, Creambell has penetrated the Eastern States starting with Jharkhand and Bihar. Last year we moved into Orissa and West Bengal and Southern states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Apart from this, Vidharba, MP and Chhattisgarh in central region witnessed a deeper and far better availability not restricting to the state capital and the top three cities.
We are now targeting, Eastern markets for further expansion, particularly to select tier II and III markets.
We are currently working on the operational aspects of launching Gujarat. Also, we are expanding our presence in East African markets.
Are you planning to take e-commerce route? What is the current scenario of e-commerce business in food retail?
Ice cream delivery via the e-commerce route is yet to be explored. We are in process and exploring this avenue so as to make the brand even more accessible to our valued consumers.