Must know facts of Yogurt business

The probiotic dares to march into the mutiny of its contemporaries in the sweet trade

With increasing health awareness, people are scouting for newer alternatives that keep them fit while satiating their pangs for a great tasting desert at the same time. Frozen yogurt is emerging as a popular choice.  Although some argue that frozen yogurt is a pale imitation of the much beloved ice cream, but they cannot deny that it is a great low-fat, low calorie alternative to ice cream. So, if you get tempted to delve into this business, there is a word of caution for you before you take the plunge- Know the must facts of the business.

The market in India is still developing and so a certain category that is the middle and up market are likely to go for it. So, where ever you would like to open an outlet, determine first and foremost that there exists a market for it.

Health wise
    *  People are more concerned about eating healthy than they have been in the past
    *  Frozen yogurt, especially non-fat frozen yogurt, has fewer calories than ice cream
    *  Frozen yogurt can also be used to make fruit smoothies, a popular and healthful choice
    *  Parents are advocating  yogurt to children as a substitute to ice cream and plain curd
    *  Pro biotic properties
    *  It is a full meal in itself, hence can be substituted with a meal as a healthy alternative

GS Bhalla of Cocoberry that manufactures, supplies and has over 100 outlets across the country shares, “Yogurt being a super food is also one of the fastest growing product categories in the food and beverage segment. Also, frozen yogurt offers a higher level of customization and a different experience than any yogurt format.”

Squat start-up costs and break even
    * You could get into self owned like Cocoberry or Kiwi Kiss or prefer a franchise entity, the business would require a shop size of 400 - 500 sq ft and about 40 lakhs of investment

    * Since you know by now that Frozen yogurt businesses have a reasonably low start-up cost. So debts and internal accruals is sufficient to finance the business
    * Lower business debt equals higher likelihood of success

Bhalla reveals, “I started with internal borrowings and debt and was able to break even in 9 months”.

Know your Customer
To stay focused on their target group, frozen-yogurt businesses should know their customer base. For example, the business focus could be on kids, youngsters or general families. This type of frozen-yogurt business would focus on:

    * How good frozen yogurt tastes

    * How it is a healthful alternative to ice cream

    * And also on how its lower prices are more affordable for families

    * Another focus could be the health fanatics who enjoy a treat but would never indulge in ice cream. This type of frozen-yogurt business would focus on fresh fruit toppings, healthful smoothies with added vitamins and nutrients, and options such as low-fat and non-fat yogurt frozen-yogurt businesses that focus on specific customers do quite well

Bhalla offers fresh fruit toppings of Blueberries, Strawberries, Kiwis, Mangoes, Pomegranate, Musk Melons and dry Grapes and also dry toppings such as Cookies, Snickers, Granola, Sliced Almonds and Walnuts. The customer category can customize their yougut that they serve in six flavours currently. This variety is a major attraction and his brand's USP.

Location-the key determinant
    * Frozen-yogurt businesses do best in locations that get high volumes of the right kind of traffic like mom and pop shops, supermarket and hypermarket

    * A frozen-yogurt business that focuses on yogurt and fresh fruit smoothies does well in a plaza that includes a gym. Health-conscious fitness types are likely to drop in for a healthy drink after a hard workout.
    * A frozen-yogurt business that focuses on being a healthful family alternative to ice cream does quite well renting space in a mall, where parents and children pass by all day long.


Fringe benefits
    * Offering incentives such as customer reward cards that give customers free frozen yogurts after a certain number of purchases brings in loyal customers
    * Provide home delivery

    * Its short shelf life, so plan the consumption by studying the client purchasing habits

    * People are still not fully aware, they think since it is  ahealth food, it may not be tasty like ice cream so they are reluctant to experiment

Yogurt stands out in competition with deserts like ice cream, mithai, chocolates since it is guilt free indulgence. Moreover, it is  a boon to diabetics and its pro biotic qualities keep it ahead of all health food. According to a book, Tata Startegic  Management, “ India’s health and wellness market will be 55,000 cr by 2015, growing at a  rate of 35 per year year”. So, yogurt is here to stay, and it is just a matter of time, people will realise that there is more to it than just taste that makes it so popular than other deserts. So, reach out to your nearest consultant and indulge in the business of that guilt free sin. I promise that the yummillicious business will not betray you.

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