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Ice Cream Business: Ultimate Guide To Start Your Own Shop

Who doesn’t love a giant scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day? An ice cream business is an extremely profitable model, especially because it is a mass-consumption product. 

Within the ice cream market, there are many segments of products. From artisanal ice creams to take-home packs, the options are endless…

In India, the ice cream business has a higher scope of growth because ice cream remains the most popular dessert across the year, owing to the hot and humid climate.

Are you planning to start an ice cream parlour business? Well, it’s your lucky day! This article is the holy grail of everything you need to know about starting an ice cream business!

Is ice cream making business profitable?

Basics Of Starting An Ice Cream Business 

If you need to build something strong, you need a solid foundation (just like a triple-layer ice cream sundae). So, let’s start with the fundamental requirements of starting an ice cream business before we dive into the details: 

1. Define The Target Audience 

Yes, everyone under the sun is a target audience for ice cream. However, you need to narrow down a group depending on the price range and the type of ice cream you serve.

If you are offering trendy ice cream or curating a premium range, your target audience will be the elite who have the spending capacity for your product. 

Nowadays, there are vegan and sugar-free variants also available, keeping in mind the lifestyle of people. If that is the type of ice cream you plan to serve, your target audience will be completely different. 

Is ice cream a good business?
Many types of Ice cream have entered the market, giving the consumers a wider selection

The importance of deciding the TG is that it enables you to market your ice cream business to the right people and helps you create an effective marketing strategy. (keep reading for detailed information)

2. The Location 

Every ice cream parlour business requires a swanky location that is in a high-footfall area and is easily visible to people. 

Since ice cream is something people buy spontaneously, your ice cream parlour should be situated in residential and commercial areas which are frequented by both children and adults

Children play an integral role in the ice cream business. Remember how you would demand a scoop of ice cream just because you saw an ice cream van pass by? 

Your ice cream parlour business needs to consider that children are usually the end consumers; hence, choosing a location near schools and colleges will also be a good strategy. 

3. Get The Necessary Licenses 

Like every business, an ice cream shop also requires certain licenses before it becomes functional. Here is a list of licenses you will require:

how to start an ice cream business?
A well-trained small fleet of staff is enough to operate an ice cream parlour

4. Staff & Inventory Management 

Unlike restaurants and cafes, an ice cream business does not require a complex fleet of staff or inventory. However, you need to hire well-equipped people to handle the demands of an ice cream shop.

A front-end manager, back end manager, and an ice cream chef are the basic requirements for staff. If your ice cream parlor business is larger, only then you would require more people.

Click here to learn more about training your staff for an ice cream business.

As for inventory and parlour management, Petpooja can be your one-stop ice cream POS solution. With the POS system’s strong support and automation, you can remain on top of your business operations hassle-free. You get all the necessary third-party integrations and core solutions that will smoothly overlook your stock, orders, bills, customers & menu.

Design An Irresistible Ice Cream Menu 

Let’s skip to the good part of starting an ice cream parlor business: the ice cream menu! But first, here’s a truth bomb: the ice cream industry is densely populated with established national (Vadilal, Mother Dairy, Havmore, Amul, Kwality Walls) as well as regional leaders.

The key to establishing your ice cream business is to stand out with your ice cream menu. Once you have the type of ice cream, the TG, and the location finalized, here are 3 tips to help you finalize your menu: 

how to sell seasonal ice cream flavors?
An assorted menu will cater to wider TG with a diverse taste pallete

1. The Flavors 

Whether you serve trendy ice creams or stick to the classics, the flavours will define the success of your ice cream business. 

You have to include the favourites: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and butterscotch. From here, you can build your menu by offering variations and combinations (eg: Dark chocolate, swiss vanilla, strawberry & vanilla).

RECOMMENDED READ  How To Grow Your Icecream Parlour Business In India?

Catch the eye by including some seasonal and limited edition flavours. Your ice cream menu should include one flavour which is unique to your brand.

For instance, rum caramel sea salt could be your speciality and the flavour which puts you on the map. 

2. Create An Experience 

Ice cream is a partner for all emotions. Upset? Have a tub. In love? Share a scoop. Happy? Indulge in a sundae!

Hence your menu should create a wholesome experience for everyone. 

You can either have a ‘Make Your Own Ice Cream’ section in the menu or offer an assortment of toppings and add-ons so that people can create an ice cream experience perfect for their mood.

This will not only make you stand out but will also help create a diverse and inclusive ice cream menu. 

3. Takeaway Section

What if someone walks into your shop, tries your heavenly roasted coconut with jaggery flavor, falls in love, and wants an endless supply of it?

Your menu should have a separate takeaway section that offers larger qualities and family packs. It is convenient and enables your customers to buy in bulk. 

Another advantage of the takeaway section is that the box serves as a marketing tool. When people take home the boxes, they usually reuse them as storage boxes. Hence the more they see your brand’s name, the more they remember it.

ice cream business profits
Takeaway tubs are a form of marketing because they create a brand recall

Marketing Strategy For An Ice Cream Business 

Now that you have a store and a fabulous menu, it’s time to spread the word and make your ice parlour business the place to be!

And how will you do that? While ice cream can pretty much sell itself (duh, it’s ICE CREAM!), creating an effective marketing strategy will help you reach a wider audience faster.

Here are some ideas to market your ice cream business:

1. Be Visible On Social Media 

Instagram is a popular platform where you can promote your ice cream parlour business through posts, contests, giveaways, and influencer collaborations.  

Posting regular updates about your ice cream menu will generate curiosity and keep people informed.

You can also create content using images and videos from your ice cream parlour to further create a visual experience.

Have a sundae that looks drool-worthy? Post it on social media to create hype for the product.

You can also utilize social media to post positive customer feedback, which strengthens the trust of future customers in your brand. 

 how much does it cost to produce ice cream
Imagery adds value to your brand as people can see what you actually serve

2. Offer Exciting Discounts 

Another marketing idea for your newly launched ice cream business is offering lucrative offers and discounts.

When your business is new, the objective is to get people to try your product at least once so that if they like it, they will come back for more.

The ideal way to overcome the challenge of getting customers in your shop is through offers and discounts because, frankly, who doesn’t like getting more for less money? 

Here are some offers and discount ideas to consider:

  • Buy One, Get One 
  • Free Ice Cream Scoop Before 11 AM 
  • Free ice cream scooper with 1L pack 
  • Free scoop for kids on purchase of a certain amount 
  • Ladies Night: 30% Off for all women 
  • Sunday Fest: 25% off on the entire menu

3. Email Marketing 

This is an extremely powerful marketing tool. Through emailers, you can share endless information with your customer and also keep them updated about your ice cream parlor business.

Launching a winter special menu? Send a quirky emailer! Hosting a New Year’s ice cream party? Put it in your emailer. 

Email marketing is a mass tool to reach many people at once and if you keep the content interesting, people might look forward to reading your emailers every month 

More Tips To Start A Successful Ice Cream Business

  • Create unique branding which helps you stand out and establishes your name in the market
  • Never compromise on quality. Since people have an array of options, they can easily switch to another brand if they don’t like your taste and quality 
  • Keep updating your menu to offer new and exciting flavours, Research what people like and offer them trendy ice cream flavours 
  • Start an online delivery service through third-party integrations. It will help your customer enjoy your ice cream from the comfort of their home 
  • Keep your ice cream parlour business more functional during evenings, late nights, and weekends. This is the time when most people step out for ice cream. 

Whew! If you are reading this, it means you have made it to the end and certainly deserve a treat (an ice cream, maybe?). After reading this guide, we hope you have clarity on how to start your ice cream business. Do send us a scoop when you open your first parlour!

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Anukriti Singh
Anukriti Singh
A strategist by the day and writer by night, I find solace between books and coffee cups. A firm believer that words are the most powerful tool of the humankind


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