Local brands rule ice cream market

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Local brands rule ice cream market

Sep 4, 2013-

Locally produced ice creams have overtaken foreign brands thanks to improved quality and reasonable prices. Domestic products now account for a larger share of the market estimated to be worth Rs 400 million annually, said dairies.

According to them, demand for local ice creams is growing at the rate of 15-20 percent annually. This has prompted more domestic dairies to enter the ice cream market. Shakti Food, Nepal Dairy, Kathmandu Dairy and Sujal Dairy besides the state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) are now the major players.

Apart from traditional flavours, many of the dairies have started offering new products. Ice creams in chocolate flavours include chocolate choco chips, choco bars and rich dark chocolate. Fresh fruit flavours include fresh pineapple, mango, litchi and fresh strawberry.

Shakti Food began selling ice creams under the brand Martin a few years ago. The company now produces ice creams in 20 flavours including vanilla, strawberry, 21 love, butter scotch and chocobar.

“We have launched these products with the aim of catering to growing domestic demand and contribute to import substitution,” said Prakash Maharjan, executive chairman of Shakti Food. According to him, their products are priced reasonably and satisfy local preferences.

Shakti Food uses locally manufactured raw materials including milk powder, cream and butter to make its ice creams. It sells 1,500 l of ice cream daily. Maharjan said demand for their ice creams was up 100 percent compared to three years ago when they launched the products in the market. The company sells its products through 10 dealers in the Kathmandu valley, Dhading, Narayanghat and Banepa. “Apart from the valley, there is now growing demand for local ice creams in other parts of the country,” added Maharjan. “For this reason, we are planning to increase the capacity of our production plant besides unveiling new flavours.”

Meanwhile, Nepal Dairy, popularly known as nd, sells 4,000 l of ice cream daily. Established over a decade ago, the company claims to have a 60 percent share of the domestic ice cream market.

“When we entered the ice cream business with a second-hand machine, the market was dominated by foreign brands like Nirala, Baskin & Robbins and Vadilal,” said Heramba Rajbhandari, chairman of nd. “We imported a fully automated system besides tying up with farmers in Chitwan, Ilam and Kanchanpur to obtain quality raw materials,” he added.

Nepal Dairy now produces ice creams in over 20 flavours. According to Rajbhandari, nutty bar and pistachio are the fastest selling items in addition to other traditional flavours. The company maintains eight outlets and a number of dealers across the country. Its ice creams are sold nationwide except in the Far Western Region. “We have focused on improving quality service besides expanding our market in the far west,” said Rajbhandari.

According to Pradeep Maharjan, proprietor of Kathmandu Dairy, demand for local ice creams has swelled due to their improved quality. The dairy uses mostly local raw materials to make its products. Kathmandu Dairy offers Snowfun brand ice cream in 14 flavours. Among them, alaichi pista, vanilla, butter scotch and 21 love are the most popular. Its sales amount to 500-600 l daily, and prices range from Rs 25 for a 50 ml pack to Rs 800-900 for a 4 l pack.

Similarly, state-owned DDC sells 250-300 l of ice cream daily in the Kathmandu valley. “If we had a better delivery system, our sales would be higher as demand has been growing,” said Dhruba Kalpit Subedi, project manager at DDC, Lainchaur. Prices of DDC products start from Rs 35 for a 100 ml pack. According to Subedi, they plan to expand production by building a new plant at Khumaltar, Lalitpur.

Published: 05-09-2013 09:46

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