Custom-made and freshly frozen, that’s what ice cream lovers could look forward to this summer, in case US ice cream brand Camille’s plans to set shop in India bear fruition. The maker of unique handcrafted ice creams could enter the country in the next three months through master franchise partners. It has even identified regions — north, west and south India — for its foray.
“Our development strategy calls for qualified groups to position our stores in areas with high footfalls like malls and multiplexes, main streets with retail presence, near college campuses and corporate towers. We are looking for groups with experience in the food and beverage market, established infrastructure and believe that India could see its first Camille’s as early as summer of this year,” Camille’s Ice Cream founder and chairman Rome Gregorio told FE, confirming the firm’s India plans. The company plans to have a mix of big flagship stores and smaller kiosks. Established in 2010, Camille’s is a relatively newer player in the fast-growing ice cream market and has four stores in the US.
“We would like to position Camille’s between Baskin Robbins and Haagen & Dazs and expect one ice cream bar to cost R120-150,” said Arunabh Sinha, head of international business at Franchise India, which is helping Camille’s partner with master franchisees in India.
However, Gregorio insists that Camille’s is a different concept, as guests can customise their ice cream, which is then flash frozen. “Flash-freeze technology gives us the ability to freeze 500 sticks in an hour, combined with fresh ingredients and a variety of flavours and toppings,” Gregorio added.
While Baskin-Robbins started in India 1993 and has over 400 outlets, Haagen & Dazs was launched in India in 2008 and has only two stores. India’s frozen desserts market (this includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelatos and sorbets) is growing at 14-15% year-on-year and is expected to cross $1200 million by 2014-15 due to expansion of international chains such as Swensen’s, Haagen-Dazs and Baskin Robbins.