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The great frozen yogurt brand wagon

The frozen yogurt category in India is witnessing great action and social media is acting as a catalyst to increase awareness of these brands

Ananya Saha | Delhi | February 13, 2012

Move over ice-creams. The market is moving towards frozen yogurt as people are getting health and-calorie-conscious without compromising on the ‘taste’ factor. Riding high on this perception, the Indian market now has close to a dozen frozen yogurt brands and chains. And more are planning to set up shop.

According to a Technopak report, the Indian packaged yogurt market was estimated at $135 million in 2011 and expanding at a compounded annual growth rate of 18-20 per cent. It is poised to touch $260-280 million by 2015. This includes the frozen yoghurt business as well.

Cocoberry launched in February 2009, and the market has only seen the entry of many more in the category. The latest to join the brand wagon is Amul with Flaavyo. Preceding Flaavyo was Red Mango, an American frozen yogurt brand. The market, according to industry estimates, is growing at 30-35 per cent.

Even as frozen yogurt is a globally established category, ‘frozen yogurt’ as a concept is very new to the Indian market and is in the infancy stage,” said Jaypal Concessao, VP, Brand Calculus, the franchisee for Kiwi Kiss. Kiwi Kiss has stores in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.

“It was challenging for us to build up the market for a new concept. We started with an extensive social media campaign on the day of Cocoberry’s inception itself which helped us capitalise on the tremendous mindshare of consumers,” GS Bhalla, Founder & CEO, Cocoberry, said.

Cocoberry currently has over 35 outlets and operates through three different formats: Cafe Cocoberry, Cocoberry and Cocoberry2Go.

RS Sodhi, MD, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing (Amul), commented, “As Indians become health conscious, the market for frozen yoghurt is going to grow. We estimate that it would expand the market by increasing customer base. Essentially, it would not only convert non-consumers of ice-cream but also increase the frequency of ice-cream eating. Frozen yoghurt highway would account for 5 per cent of total ice-cream sales and would contribute to approximately 70 per cent market share.”

Synergy Holdings, Dubai-based master franchisee of Korean frozen yogurt brand Yogurberry, entered India in 2010 through a tie-up with Raasha Leisure and Entertainment. It currently has two stores.

Mumbai-based Yogurtbay opened shop in March 2011, and has two stores now. MD Viral Jhaveri said, “My experience working at Starbucks in the US allowed me to come across a bunch of products and ingredients never seen before in India. I want to bring some of these ideas and do something that has never been done before, globally. Yogurtbay is more than just a mix and mash that most frozen yogurt cafes offer.”

CEO and principal owner Rahul Kumar who holds the franchise rights of Red Mango as a division of Maez, commented, “In India, while many chains are dishing out frozen yogurt, it is not an authentic product. We felt there was a void for a genuine product.”

Red Mango boasts of being the country’s first 100% natural, low fat, kosher and gluten-free frozen yogurt brand. The brand set shop in January 2012 in Delhi. Red Mango yogurts are available at 89 paisa per gram. “Selling by the gram challenges the traditional art of selling,” remarked Kumar.

Big on social media

Cocoberry attributes its success story to guerilla marketing, and using social media extensively. Today, the brand boasts of over 550,000 Facebook fans. It is partnering UTV Motion Pictures and Dharma Productions in the release of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Yashraj Films approached Cocoberry for a joint marketing campaign in 2011 with Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan for their movie Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, and Warner Bros for its move Happy Feet 2.

The brand is also planning to launch its TVC soon. Kiwi Kiss believes in viral marketing coupled up with a rewards programme as a plank to establish the brand.

UK-based Yogurtry has hired Mumbai-based Katha Mediatix to help position itself as an aspirational brand that is healthy.

“Yogurberry is more active with local store marketing and aggressively active on social media,” informed Ameer Husain, Business Head, Raasha Leisure & Entertainment.

With a budget of Rs 1 crore, Red Mango might take the route of celebrity endorsements apart from promotions across social media, BTL activities and print media. They have already tied up with IBD.

Robin Chatterjee, Director, Yogurt Bay, said, “So far our budget has been miniscule as a share of our turnover at around 5 per cent. We have targeted the youngsters so far through various music associations. We've done contests and tweet ups for our loyalists. However, we will begin to increase our marketing spend this year.”

Way forward

“The category is new and creating awareness is the biggest challenge. More players will only help the category grow,” Concessao of Brand Calculus remarked. That said, since the brands are vying for the same TG, the competition is getting tougher for all players. However, this is not stopping them from chalking out their expansion plans.

Yogurtry is planning to open 25 stores in India by the end of 2012. Cities on the radar include Mumbai, Delhi and those in southern India,” said Micheal Zelouf, Co-owner, Yogurtry. Currently, the brand is available at Spencers, HyperCity and Godrej Nature’s Basket as ‘hard serve’.

Amul Flaavyo Frozen Yoghurt is currently available in the price range of Rs 25 (125ml), Rs 90 (500ml) and Rs 650 (5 lt). Though it has been introduced through Amul’s Scooping parlours (Rs.35 per scoop), Flaavyo will soon launch in consumer packs across India.

Kiwi Kiss’ current focus is on expanding the brand in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, and it is looking at opening 10 more stores by March 2012 in these cities. “With only a few players in this segment, we are confident to be contributing to at least 2 per cent to this category,” said Concessao.

After Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Nagpur, Goa, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Chandigarh, Cocoberry plans 100 outlets in 20 cities in India by the yearend. The company aims to open 105 outlets in India in the next five years.

Yogurberry has three stores under construction, two in Mumbai and one in Delhi, with further plans to open a minimum of one store per month and then gradually accelerating.

Ananya@BestMediaInfo.com

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