Yoghurt players eye greater penetration in Indian market

Last Updated: Mon, Aug 06, 2012 19:11 hrs

Frozen yoghurt players have up their ante to increase penetration in the Indian market. As a part of their strategy, makers have chosen to either slash price points, offer smaller affordable portions, or value meals for families, while global players have come up with flavours that entice Indian taste bud.

Almost everyone is busy expanding footprint across the country to increase penetration and grab a larger section of the pie. Yoghurt has been a part of the Indian diet for years, and the initial response of the consumers had been lukewarm.

Indian brand Cocoberry, one of the earlier entrants in the frozen yoghurt space in the country back in 2009, has slashed its prices by around 40 per cent, and now has a starting price as low as Rs 30 for a single offering. Also, the company plans to treble its outlet count to 150 from a current 50 over the next 18 months.

Starting early has given an advantage to Cocoberry compared to the newer entrants, it has managed to generate significant volumes already. "Our product pricing has been premium as we import bulk of our ingredients. However, now as we have managed to generate significant volumes, we can negotiate with our suppliers on the pricing front. We want to make our products more accessible by offering them at attractive price points.This will help us increase penetration in the frozen yoghurt market", said G S Bhalla, chief executive officer and founder of Cocoberry.

Bhalla informed that Cocoberry sells anything between 12 to 15 tonnes of frozen yoghurt in a year. "We are also looking at increasing localisation of our ingredients that would give a further price advantage. This, however, would take some time as we need to touch a sales volume of at least 12-15 tonnes a month", Bhalla said.

In order to increase penetration, the company is investing close to Rs 40-50 crore to add 100 more outlets, taking the count to 150 by mid next year. We do not operate on a franchise model, these are company-owned outlets, Bhalla informed.

He says that the frozen yoghurt market in India is still at a nascent stage, and as more and more companies enter the space, the market will expand exponentially in the coming years. Currently, the frozen yoghurt market is estimated at Rs 280-300 crore in India.

South Korean brand Yogurberry too is planning to invest close to Rs 50 crore to expand its outlet count this fiscal. It has also tweaked its menu to suit Indian tastes. The company has five operational outlets in Delhi and Mumbai, three more are underway, and is also stepping foot on the southern soils next quarter with one outlet each in Chennai and Bangalore.

Ameer Hussain, business head at Raasha Leisure and Entertainment, the area franchise for Yogurberry for north and east India said that as the market becomes more competitive, we are thinking of offering smaller portions of our product to keep the price points low. "We are upbeat about the market potential of frozen yoghurt in India as the urban consumer is increasingly looking at healthier options for snacking and 'meal-to-go'. The target is to have 100 outlets across India over the next five years", Hussain said.

Canadian frozen yoghurt chain Kiwi Kiss has come up with an affordable value-meal for family. Aparna Pai, business head of Brand Calculus that markets Kiwi Kiss in India informed that they have recently started a Fro Yo sundae for Rs 129. The segment has seen a lot of action in the recent months, with US based Red Mango entering India in January this year and another Los Angeles based frozen yoghurt chain Pinkberry is expected to launch in India by the year end.

This apart, the milk and milk products giant Amul has launched its packaged frozen yoghurt brand 'Flaavyo' in January this year.

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