With summers in full heat, ice cream major Amul is all set to up the ante. Amul India, which entered the ice cream market a few years ago, has plans to expand its business in the area by taking the hitherto largest player in the segment Kwality Walls head on.
The stakes are high as well. The total Indian ice cream market is estimated to be around Rs.2000 crores. Out of the Rs.2000 crores, approximately Rs.525 crores market is organized market, which is being covered by branded ice cream (national/regional brands) and is equivalent to 80.8 million ltrs per annum.
The entry of Amul in the segment has seen the Kwality Walls sales come down. The company reported a volume sale of 22.8 lac litres in 2001 as against 25 million in 1998(Source: HLL Annual Report).
As per latest ORG figures, in Mumbai, Amul's market share is 37.6% against Kwality Walls market share, which has come down from 38% to 34.8%.
"For this summer Amul is gearing up to take on competition on two heads. Amul will continue with its Value For Money (VFM) concept to give best quality product at the most affordable price. Our ice creams are priced 25% to 60% lower than Kwality Wall's depending upon the range." Says Prasanna Shah, Head Ice cream Division, Amul India.
According to Prasanna the idea is two fold. "One, to increase per capita consumption of ice cream." Presently per capita consumption of ice cream in India is only 250 ml per annum as compared to 22 ltr per annum in US, 1Ltr per annum in China and 750 ml per annum in Sri Lanka. Indian consumers tend to be very price conscious and prefer a product, which is of good quality and available at affordable price. "Based on this experience we at Amul Ice cream prepared a marketing strategy based on our inherent strength of low price raw material availability, which centers on Value for Money (VFM)." Adds Prasanna.
"Secondly, to focus on the fact that Amul Ice Creams have higher milk content our advertising strategy is going to revolve around the punch line 'Real Milk Real Ice Cream'. As we would continue offering the best quality product (both generic as well as perceived), we would be offering consumers, Ice Cream made out of Real Milk and Real Cream hence our punch line will be "Real Milk Real ice cream" he adds.
Amul is also on the verge of launching a few new products. For the Take-away segment Amul plans to offer a product, which is 60-70% cheaper than Kwality Walls and which also has milk fat. "In this season, we would be offering 25% extra Ice Cream in all running Take Away pack namely Vanilla, Strawberry, Mango." Adds Prasanna.
Other new products to be launched include Chochips and a change of Mango to Alphonso Mango. For the Impulse Segment, as the marketers categorize it, Amul is launching Tricone priced 60-70% economical than Kwality Walls. "This will enable us to give the consumer best value for their money." Says Prasanna.
To catch the young segment Amul has an attractive name. The company is launching a product by the name of 'Fundoo'. Says Prasanna "We have already built up a complete port folio for kids under the brand name "Fundoo". This will enable us to catch the kids segment. The products developed under Fundoo range are: Fundoo Ball (Ice Cream is filled in Ball), Fundoo Fresh Strawberry etc."
Mother Dairy Delhi is marketing Ice Cream only in Delhi and National Capital Territory (NCT) and Amul is marketing in all other markets. Amul Ice Cream is currently available in 400 markets across the country.