Ice Cream Industry Profile
The ice cream industry in India is in many ways, reflective of the overall population distribution. The country’s population is primarily rural with approximately 65% of the population living in villages with a population of less than 5,000; this means there are well over 150,000 villages with a combined population in excess of 650 million. This has contributed to a highly fragmented industry that by many estimates has over 70,000 ice cream entities. Many of these are single family operations where the product is made either in the home or in very small factories and sold on the streets. The 350 million remaining people are concentrated in the cities where the industry is reasonably concentrated in the hands of a few international and domestic firms. It is estimated that only 30% of the entire market is “organized” and the industry meets the classic definition of a fragmented industry, that is, one where there is an absence of market leaders with the power to shape industry events. Ice cream or ice-cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavorings and colorings are used in addition to (or in replacement of) the natural ingredients. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream. The meaning of the term ice cream varies from one country to another. Terms like frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, like the USA, the term ice cream applies only to a specific variety, and their governments regulate the commercial use of all these terms based on quantities of ingredients. In others, like Italy and Argentina, one word is used for all the variants. Alternatives made from soy milk, rice milk, and goat milk are available for those who are lactose intolerant or have an allergy to dairy protein, or in the case of soy milk for those who want to avoid animal products. Ancient civilizations have served ice for cold foods for thousands of years. The BBC reports that a frozen mixture of milk and rice was invented in China around 200 BC, and in 618-97 AD, King Tang of Shang had 94 men who made a frozen dish of buffalo milk, flour, and camphor. The Roman Emperor Nero (37–68) had ice brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings. These were some early chilled delicacies. In 400 BC, Persians invented a special chilled pudding-like dish, made of rose water and vermicelli which was served to royalty during summers. The ice was mixed with saffron, fruits, and various other flavors. The treat, widely made in Iran today, is called "faloodeh", and is made from starch (usually wheat), spun in a sieve-like machine which produces threads or drops of the batter, which are boiled in water. The mix is then frozen, and mixed with rose water and lemons, before serving.
As the industry evaluation would indicate the competition is significant. The 70,000 some participants is a large number but the more serious challenge comes from the top six national firms; Amul, Kwality Walls, Mother Dairy, Vadilal, Dinshaw, and Arun. These top six firms dominate the market and essentially control the organized market. Detail statistics are not available to indicate market share but Ben & Jerry's estimates that these six firms control 40% to 50% of the urban market. Historically MNC’s have not achieved much success in penetrating the Indian market. There are a number of possible explanations for this; the relative embryonic and disorganized nature of the market, excessive government regulation that included excessive tariffs and the restriction that imported ice cream could only be sold in hotels, and...
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