India's small and medium ice cream manufacturers are improving their product range, productivity and profitability with the help of cheaper and affordable Chinese equipment to compete with the large companies. According to the industry experts, the small and medium ice cream makers, for the first time, are able to offer a wide variety of products in attractive shapes, colours and flavours, thanks to the Chinese machinery .
For decades, European equipment manufacturers like Tetra Pak, Gram Equipment and Vojta dominated the Indian ice cream market, supplying equipment to large players like Amul, Kwality Walls and Vadilal. Of late, smaller ice cream players, which cannot afford sophisticated and expensive European equipment, are buying Chinese machinery from manufacturers like Nanjing Puyan, said Sudhir Shah, secretary, Indian Ice Cream Manufacturers Association.
"Because of this new blessings from China, which every year supp lies new machines like excursion lines and packaging machines that produce innovative cones, cups and heart shaped ice creams, we have been able to increase our production and, subsequently, sales have also gone up," said Shah.
Shah, who also heads Hyderabadbased mid-sized ice cream firm Scoops Ice Creams, said as against 3,000 sticks of ice creams a day through manual process, his company now produces 6,000 sticks an hour, thanks to Chinese machinery . Further, its sales have nearly doubled with innovative products being doled out by the Chinese machines, Shah said.
The domestic ice cream market is currently growing at a healthy rate of 20-25% and is pegged at around . 3,500 crore, says Sachin B Bobade, ` analyst with HDFC Securities.
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