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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Gelato Vinto takes on Baskin Robbins in ice cream war

Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 07, 2013
First Published: 23:22 IST(7/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:19 IST(8/10/2013)

The premium ice-cream market is getting hotter — with new players out to melt the competition.

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Ice cream maker Gelato Vinto, which supplies products to India’s top hotels such as Hyatt Regency and Leela Kempinski, plans to roll out 200 outlets in the next five years.

One scoop of Gelato Vinto in a mini-cup will cost around Rs. 50, in the same range as a scoop at Baskin Robbins, and compared to a Rs. 165-scoop at the snooty Haagen Dazs.

Gelato Vinto boasts of around 500 ice cream flavours and is likely to sell these via shop-in- shops within the popular quick service restaurant chain Subway.

While several high-end global ice cream brands including Haagen-Dazs and Unilever’s Magnum have entered the Indian market, they are mostly available in select five-star hotels and retail outlets.

However, to cash in on growing consumer preferences, these companies are looking to expand beyond.

US-based Mini Melts, which launched in Bangalore this year, aims to make its product available in 1,200 outlets across India in the next three years. Fellow American  brand Baskin Robbins, which currently has over 500 outlets in the country, also intends to expand with 100 outlets this year.

Delhi-based Gelato Vinto currently has 53 outlets in Delhi, National Capital Region (NCR), Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and is now eyeing the southern and western parts of the country.

“Our plan is open 200 outlets across India. Outlets would be a mixture of either company-owned stores or franchises,” said Akshay Batra, chief operating officer, Gelato Vinto. “We plan to open 25-30 franchise stores this fiscal, and around 75 by the year end.”

Gelato which started its operations in 2007, has been growing at 30%- 40% per annum. However, despite its aggressive growth plans, the company has registered a 15-20% fall in sales this summer, thanks to falling purchasing sentiments all around.

“This was the slowest summer due to the weak macro economic conditions. The category was impacted as ice- creams are mostly an impulse buy rather than planned purchases,” added Batra.


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