KATHMANDU: One of the greatest respites from the rising mercury is the immense joy of enjoying the cool softness as ice-cream swivels and melts in your mouth. Local brands like Azzbko, Nepal Dairy (ND’s) and Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) and international brands like Baskin-Robbins are offering an array of options to relieve and provide consumers a breather from the scorching summer.
State owned DDC is one of the major players in the ice-cream industry, enjoying around 30 per cent market share. DDC produces 1,000 litres of ice-cream per day in 10 different flavours from its three different production plants — in Hetauda, Biratnagar and Lainchaur. It has two outlets in Pokhara and three in the valley. “DDC’s annual earning is more than Rs 15 million from icecream production and distribution alone,” says Giridhar Bajracharya, milk product and supply manager at DDC, adding that DDC is not in competition with other brands as it has its niche market among certain segments of the populace. Vanilla, Straw-berry, Chocolate, Pistachio are some of the popular flavours from DDC brand. DDC ice-creams come in 100 ml, 500 ml, one-litre, and four-litre packs and prices range from Rs 30 to Rs 500.
Another local brand is Nepal Diary or ND’s which has now become a household name. It has been selling ice-cream since 1994. “Ice-cream business is hot and we have seen 25 per cent growth in the business as compared to last year,” says Arniko Rajbhandari, managing director of ND’s. However, Shyam Sunder Lal Kakshapati, managing director of National Ice-Cream Industries — a subsidiary of the Nanglo Group and the NE Group that manufacturers Azzabko ice-cream — says, “Though there is increase in demand for ice cream, the growth is not as expected due to power cuts, which has become a major problem to maintain the required temperature.” According to Kakshapati, even having generators at manufacturing plants does not solve the problem unless all retailers also have generators, which is quite impossible.
ND offers 22 flavours of ice-cream ranging from Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate, to Pineapple, 21 Love, et cetera. “However, there can be an influx in the number of flavours depending on the seasonal fruits available in the market,” adds Rajbhandari. According to him, ND’s started to manufacture ice cream under the brand ND’s to cash in on the escalating demand for ice-cream. ND’s ice creams are available in
all the major cities like Pokhara, Dharan, Itahari and Narayanghat, while it has its own outlets at Mahabouddha, Baneshwor, Maru and
Kumaripati in the valley. “We are also trying to increase sales from retail outlets and small shops,” says Raj-bhadari. Within a year, the company plans to extend its plant to penetrate the market in Darjeeling and Sikkim. The company claims to enjoy 25 per cent market share.
Azzabko ice cream is also creating a niche in the market with number of creamy, sweet, and delicious flavours. Available in over
a dozen mouth-watering flavours in 100 ml, 500 ml, one-litre and four-litre packs, the brand offers flavours like Azzabko Vanilla, Pineapple, Apple, Mint, Strawberry, Chocolate, Mango, Litchi, Vanilla Chocochips, Coffee, Butterscotch, Pistachio, Rum Raisin, and Mango, among others. Recently it launched Cornetto and the company is in the process of introducing kulfi within a week. According to Kakshapati, the factory is producing 2,000 litres of ice cream per day. As an expansion project, the brand will be soon launched in the eastern region before penetrating the border areas. Azzabko has 680 outlets in the country and enjoys 25 per cent of the total ice-cream pie.
Though the market is dominated by the domestic brands, international brands are also cashing in on the love for ice-cream. “Though sales is slow due to limited stock, we sell about 22,000 litres of ice-cream in summer on an average,” says Rohini Shrestha, account manager at Baskin-Robbins. It comes in half-, one- and four- litre packs and in regular and premium sizes.
Customers can enjoy six cool flavours in the regular segment and 19 refreshing flavours in the premium. The price of Baskin-Robbins’ ice-creams range from Rs 400 to Rs 2,200, depending on the flavour.