Shreyas Kulkarni

Are bite-sized ice creams having their time under the sun?

The likes of Havmor, Kwality Wall’s, Creambell and Arun are offering bite-sized ice creams this summer. Do they actually make any sense, when we’d rather bite into gigantic ice lollies?

Nothing refreshes or indulges us more than biting into an ice cream bar or an ice lolly during summers. But if it’s a bite-sized ice cream, do you tend to go for a second or third one, or do you ignore it in the first place.

Bite-sized ice cream are not new to the Indian market, but have begun to tickle our fancy over the past few weeks. Last month, Havmor introduced ‘Shotties’ – miniature bars in dark chocolate and choco crunch flavours.

Havmor is not the only player in the bite-sized ice cream space. Others include Mumbai-based Kwality Wall’s, New Delhi-based Creambell, Ahmedabad-based Vadilal, and Tamil Nadu-based Arun. The prices too are ‘bite-sized’.

But in this blistering heat, who’d buy such tiny ice creams? “Shotties cater to the need gap for a quick indulgent chocolate treat, without the binge,” says Vincent Noronha, vice president, marketing, Havmor.

“Consumers are not heterogeneous, and neither are emotional and consumption needs. The market has matured enough for us to scope each segment and need, with differentiated offerings.”

The consumption, as per Noronha, “is large in the metros, mini-metros and Tier-I markets, but the developing infrastructure in the rural regions of the country may pave the way for new opportunities.”

Havmor, which is targeting young adults with its Shotties offering, feels that it’s also a great product for mothers, as it offers a quick treat for their children.

Kalyan Karmakar, a leading brand consultant and blogger at Finely Chopped Consulting, feels that these products aren’t just popular with school and college kids. “Even the adults get a chance to try out the variety on offer. Sometimes, they want a bit of refreshment or temptation, without getting conscious about their health…”

Where can we buy a shot?

Today, we can order a single piece of gulab jamun online, which would then be delivered in minutes. What about bite-sized ice creams? Karmakar says that people will order in bulk if the work/study from home phenomenon continues. Havmor agrees, and credits the at-home consumption trend as the key driver for the surge in online orders.

“We have also witnessed exponential growth in demand through food aggregators, over the last 18 months,” reveals Noronha.

“It was this insight into consumer behaviour, which led us to the thought behind Shotties, a multi-pack of 10 pieces. Ice cream sales are largely skewed towards offline retail stores, than most other FMCG products. The same also holds for bite-sized products. We have seen consumers buying 5-10 pieces of our existing bite-sized ice creams, together.”

The online and offline orders satiate a retail customer. Also, the size of these products can go on to make for an excellent B2B seller. Just think about welcome treats at hotels and resorts or conferences, instead of a carbonated or sugary beverages.

“One of the largest theme parks in the western part of the country, uses this as a part of welcoming school children,” reveals Noronha.

Karmakar says that one needs to look at it from a practical perspective. “Would it be kept in a freezer for people to take out and then consume, because you can't leave it on the table, right? Second, luxury hotels may want to configure the product to put in their branding…”

So, have you finally decided what your bite-sized ice cream will be, today?

Arun Ice Cream credit in cover: Zomato

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