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Be it a toddler or a 60-year-old, ice cream has been the saviour for Indian foodies especially during scorching hot summer days. Everyone’s favourite dessert has witnessed a meltdown as the pandemic hit in 2020. While the onset of summer is generally marked as the peak time for sales, the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic has brought up new challenges for the ice-cream industry but now is the right time for ice-cream businesses to thrive and capture the market. To make matters worse, rumours that suggest frozen and cold food could make people more susceptible to the coronavirus have spread more rapidly than the virus itself.
Experts reveal that the ice-cream industry has witnessed a loss of Rs 6,000 crore since March 2020. This constitutes around 60% of the industry’s annual turnover, which estimates to Rs 10,000 crore. According to a committee member of the Indian Ice-Cream Manufacturers Association (IICMA), the lost sales are estimated around 85-90% across the country during and post lockdown. The numbers indeed portray substantial losses in the ice cream industry.
Unlike dine-in restaurants or any other eateries, which still managed to take online orders via food delivery applications like Swiggy and Zomato, local ice-cream parlours have recorded a very low order volume due to unverified rumours. On the other hand, big brands across the nation have made their own strategies like collaborating with food aggregator companies to balance out their business. However, most of the hyperlocal brands have witnessed a big fall in their revenue when compared to established brands.
Current Market Situation
The arrival of the Covid19 vaccine this year has brought a sense of security to food entrepreneurs and brands. The new normal seems to be favorable towards takeaway or online ordering business as most of the ice-cream brands have witnessed an increase in their sales revenue by 20-30% through these modes. One of the most consumed ice-cream brands reported that the sales have reached 60% in March 2021, due to the early rise in temperature. Post lockdown, few hyperlocal brands have entirely changed the business of selling ice-creams going from B2B to Direct-to-home with small business circles.
What Hyperlocal brands can do?
Consumer behaviour is slowly picking up pace, where the majority still prefers takeaways and online ordering over dine-in. Sales are also gradually going back to the pre-Covid rates. Although, building customer trust is very crucial in today’s day and age. Here are a few strategic moves that hyperlocal brands can make to pace up their online sales.
Sell The Experience
Let your customers enjoy not just your food but also their experience with your brand. Build an impactful brand impression by designing unique product packaging with content that tones well with your brand. Simple efforts that brands take to deliver ease to customers count towards brand impressions made to the customers. For example, adding a sachet of sanitizer, minimal usage of plastic in packaging, or including eco-friendly cutlery helps in creating a positive brand image.
Understand your audience
Customer behavior and trends keep changing constantly. Upgrading your brand as per customer’s taste is required to survive in the market. This summer, calls for retrieving the sense of security and trust from ice-cream lovers. Many brands started educating the customers about the myths regarding the new coronavirus and frozen food. Many brands have also re-invented their menu by adding health and nutrition facts to every item.
With offline sales reducing drastically as compared to pre-covid levels, delivering digitally to customers has become the only way forward. However, many hyperlocal brands have signed up for third-party food delivery applications to make online sales. Brands can also get contact-less ordering and digital payment channels which are now a part of the “new normal” for eating out at restaurants, ice cream parlours etc.
During the pandemic, big brands have partnered with food aggregator applications to get online orders. Nevertheless, they need to build their own digital platforms. Its important as delivering their products on third-party applications comes with a huge cost. So now is the right time for ice-cream businesses to thrive.
“This meant we had to pay a commission to these aggregators. Therefore, we had to build our own e-commerce site and persuade our network of distributors to join the platform”
-Quoted by Havmor executive on Financial Express
It is inevitable that brands prefer owning their own platform as it is more investment-worthy and is extremely flexible. Although, this requires a properly-built online strategy to take up online sales.
Summer is coming, but this time with a scoop of hope.
Summer 2021 is predicted to bring a positive sales response to the ice-cream brands, as per veteran industry players. Brands are expecting an increase in 25-30% growth rate in their revenue based on the increasing temperature followed by the vaccine drive across the nation. Ice-cream brands have started taking initiatives in safety measures and flavor explorations to scale up their sales & it’s the right time for ice-cream businesses to thrive. Most of them have started their own tech platform to reach customers directly and avoid additional dependence on third-party platforms.
Customer data is very crucial which can help the restaurant in success. YumzyX helps you achieve that in a seamless, yet most economical way possible. With our 360° solution, we help brands become technically independent with their own ordering platform powered with AI-driven customer analytics, omnichannel marketing on a Commission-free model. Not just limiting our services with technology, we help you perform hassle-free operations while integrating with leading delivery brands.