The Ice Cream Challenge

Neha Bector Bhatia, Managing Partner - Creative Food & Packaging Company, Master Franchisee,  Mrs Bector's Cremica Ice CreamA foodie, an innovator, and an avid entrepreneur, Neha through her endeavors is set to spread happiness by providing quality and hygienic food products to consumers.

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and that is pretty much the same thing.”- Unknown.
The Indian population, a vast number of over 1.7 billion people, are largely sweet loving people. In all corners of our country we have our traditional mithais which are primarily milk based. That being said there are few things more tempting that a cold scoop of ice cream on a hot day or a cold day for a person.

Our company, Mrs. Bector's Cremica was established in 1978 with Mrs. Bector making the ice creams in her garage kitchen. She went on to establish what today is one of India's largest indigenous companies for food manufacturing in India. She fondly recalls her naming the brand Cremica as ice cream is made from cream. This dream of hers has been carried forward for the last few decades by her son Mr. Ajay Bector, Managing Director, Cremica Frozen Foods Ltd. The primary basis for our brand remains the quality of the food offered in any of the products. A moral responsibility of a food company should be to provide clean and hygienic food to its customers. Sometimes, due to price wars people expect that your product should match the other prices. However, they forget about the fine print written and the various additions which take place.

One of the biggest problems today with the ice cream segment is the emergence of known brands with frozen dessert. The main difference between a frozen dessert and an ice cream is that a frozen dessert uses fat from hydrogenated oils while ice cream uses fat from cream. The oils contain saturated fats as well as trans-fat. This is something which we want to avoid in our diets as these lead to many diseases. Simply put there is already an existing level of fat present in milk which needs to be there in an ice cream. To offer a child food, when they don't know what they are consuming because of
attractiveness of packaging and marketing is unethical.

A similar problem comes in a B2B segment where the price point becomes too competitive and becomes the deciding factor of the brand being picked up for service. There is a major difference in taste and feel to the palate after consumption of the two products, as an oil-based dessert will leave a greasy aftertaste in the mouth. In case one is offering a great dessert with an ice cream as an accompaniment an inferior quality would affect the overall taste of the dish.

In this industry a large sector is still unorganized. We are also seeing a growth of artisanal ice creams, for example vegan ice creams which are made with plant-based substances. It is a company's decision whether they would like to provide a quality product for the majority of our population or be a niche product catering to a select few.

A major problem faced by the ice cream industry in our country is a lack of adequate cold storage as well as effective transport system. The product being delicate needs to maintain a temperature of -18 degree centigrade to be served in the best possible condition, as melting leads to ice particle formation and doesn't deliver the smooth creamy finish that a customer expects.

In this ever-evolving journey of appealing to various palates, the fun and strategies don't stop

In this new age of social media and awareness, there is an enormous pressure on presentation of the product. The youth prefers buying what they feel would look great on their social feeds. We prefer to offer a product which is made using quality produce, the intake of which is sufficient for a person and minimizes food wastage.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with changing trends and not lose the essence and core brand ethos, which makes us the company we are. In saying this, we are keeping up with the times. We are being innovative with our product by introducing new flavors and new techniques.

The various food aggregators for home deliveries also eat into the profitability of running our stores. Ten years ago, stepping out for an ice cream with the family was an occasion. However in today's changing scenario the youth prefer ordering a product such as ice cream home. Keeping up with this we offer our ice creams with packaging to allow it to travel for distances.

Mrs. Bector's Cremica Ice Cream has been running ice cream parlour operations in Punjab since last 25 years. Currently we have opened 2 new stores in Delhi and looking to expand in North India via franchise operations. Mr. Nikhil Bector, Director, Cremica Frozen Foods Ltd is looking to expand operations in the B2B segment as well as B2C by increasing capacities, product line and distribution network.

In conclusion, I would like to say that in this ever-evolving journey of appealing to various palates the fun and strategies don't stop. While staying on top of trends we don't underestimate the pleasure our customer will get from a basic as a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Quality offered will always stand out.