How to Market an Ice Cream Brand in the Rural Market?

. 5 min read
How to Market an Ice Cream Brand in the Rural Market?

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day? Everybody does, right? While you may have had ice cream hundreds of times in your life, what you don’t know is that 'Iced-cream' or ice cream is a popular dairy product that has evolved immensely over the last few years in India, especially in the cities, but in recent times, in rural India as well.

The Indian Ice Cream Market

Although India is the world's largest milk and dairy products producer, it is surprising to see that ice cream consumption remains low at 400 ml. The Indian ice cream market is expected to grow to over 50% from 2019 to 2022, owing to several factors, including ice cream varieties available for the consumers, such as soft ice cream and hard ice cream.

The Indian ice cream market consists of both Indian and international brands. These brands are present across metropolitan cities, small towns, and even rural areas. While big brands account for a significant share of the market in cities, it is mostly the unorganised players contributing significantly to its growth in rural areas.

Maharashtra has the largest share of the Indian ice cream market. Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are behind Maharashtra, capturing the second and third largest share, respectively. The most prominent Indian ice cream space players include the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), Kwality Walls, Mother Dairy, and Vadilal.

Other factors, including ice-cream products like lactose-free ice creams and frozen desserts, can also be considered significant contributors to the Indian ice cream market's growth. Among these, frozen desserts have contributed mainly to the development of markets.

By 2021, the Indian ice cream industry is expected to cross $3.4 billion in revenue, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the dairy sector.

Rural India and the Ice Cream Market

Rural India has immense potential for the growth of the ice-cream markets. However, long power cuts during summer have made it harder to manufacture and sell ice cream products in villages. During summer, when there are power cuts, large quantities of ice cream melt away due to the heat. Since the cold storage logistics infrastructure is still developing in these parts of the country, power cuts make it harder to store and preserve ice creams.

However, according to experts, the situation is changing drastically. Rural India accounts for 70 per cent of the total population. So, by developing ethnic flavours for this segment, coupled with diversification in packaging, and aiding ice cream vendors, both financially and otherwise, a host of opportunities is bound to spring up in these areas.

How to Market an Ice Cream Business in Rural India?

India has a tropical climate. So, no doubt setting up an ice cream parlour will attract customers, especially during summer.

There are many successful ways to market an ice cream brand in rural India. Here are some ways to promote your ice cream business.

1. Host Contests

Whether cities or villages, everybody loves challenges. You could host a fun-filled ice cream eating contest by collaborating with local restaurants. You could also offer to give away prizes, such as hats, T-shirts, and other such branded memorabilia. The more fun and exciting these contests are, the more customers they will attract.

Three ice cream cones in a metal basket on blue wooden vintage background

2. Door-to-Door Selling

Contests can be an effective way to promote your ice cream brand. However, if you are still wondering how to attract customers, you can try to sell your products by going to your customer’s doorsteps. Doing so will help you in many ways.

  • You can get to know the area better in terms of its population and their preferences when it comes to ice cream.
  • You can also learn the local language and communicate better with your consumers.
  • You can boost sales with the help of public relations and by getting to know your customers.

3. Attend Local Fairs and Exhibitions

Most villages host fairs and exhibitions every now and then. These fairs and exhibitions can help you promote your ice cream brand. Since they are a form of entertainment for rural folks, you can offer them to try your ice cream brand on a hot summer day when the village hosts these fairs.

4. A Free Tasting Experience at a Local Grocery Store

To boost sales, another technique that you could try is to offer a free tasting experience at any of the local grocery stores. You could also do this yourself. That is, operate a tasting bar at the grocery store and offer your customers a chance to experience what your brand tastes like before it is released.

5. Price Cuts, Refunds, and Exchanges on Premium Collections

All customers, including the rural ones, love those Buy-1-Get-1-Free promotional offers. Similarly, they may also like price cuts on your premium collections or even cashback offers. So, you could offer price cuts and other attractive discounts that are bound to bring you more customers. Alternatively, you could also offer exchange premiums, wherein you could refund the money on new purchases your customers make in exchange for their old ones.

various ice cream balls with chocolate sauce and nuts isolated on white background

Final Thoughts

Ice cream is one of the most sought-after desserts in India, both in urban and rural areas. However, when it comes to marketing an ice cream brand, there are various ways in which you can promote your business in rural India, including hosting ice-cream eating contests, offering free tasting experiences, offering price cuts, refunds, exchanges, and other such promotions, and by attending local fairs and exhibitions.

Also read:

1) Online Business Ideas You Can Start Quickly
2) How to become an ice-cream wholesaler?
3) How to Start a Business of Ice-Cream Cones?
4) Best Home Business Ideas in 2020
5) OkCredit: Simple, Paperless & Secure solution for businesses


Q. Is Setting Up an Ice Cream in Rural India Parlour Profitable?

Ans. Yes. Setting up an ice cream parlour in rural India can be profitable, especially during the summer months when people across the country crave ice cream.

Q. How Much Does It Cost to Set Up an Ice Cream Parlour in India?

Ans. The cost of setting up an ice cream parlour depends on the size of the business but could be anywhere between INR 5 and 6 Lakhs, including the cost of acquiring the licenses.

Q. What is the Profit Margin of the Ice Cream Business in India?

Ans. The profit margin of the ice cream business varies depending on the size but is around 40%, considering the average cost of getting the materials required.

Q. Is Rolled Ice Cream a Good Business Idea?

Ans. Yes. Selling Rolled Ice Cream is indeed a fantastic business idea wherein you can start making profits within a few months of setting up shop.