Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from milk or cream and is flavored with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and spice, such as cocoa or vanilla, or with fruit such as strawberries or peaches.
Here in India, we have a zillion flavors and ways to have our favorite ice cream any time we want. But if we look into our childhoods, almost everyone in their childhoods had the chance to eat the flavored ice popsicles that our local ice cream walas used to sell along with the ice creams. There was no established ice popsicle brand in India before, they were only manufactured by local vendors.
To fill this gap Hyderabad-based brand, Anuja and Ravi Kabra (CEO and Co-Founder of the Brand) launched Skippi Ice Pops in 2020. It was launched to weaken the monopoly of ice creams in the Indian markets and change the face of the country’s desert. Skippi Ice Pops is India’s first ice pops brand which is made from 100 percent natural ingredients such as natural colors, natural flavors, natural preservatives, and natural sweeteners.
“We had moved to Australia for 7 years and while being in Australia we enjoyed having those local ice pops. My sister who had come to visit us in Australia packed a few ice pops in her bag while returning, on asking she told us that there are no ice pops brands in India she could trust for her family. This is when we started to do primary and secondary research only to realize that in such a hot and humid country like India there were absolutely no ice pops brand, so we decided to jump right in,” Ravi shared.
The packaging that the brand offers is very unique (box and bag pack). The company manufacture, distribute, and retails Skippi Ice Pops in liquid form at room temperature, this discards the need to have any freezers or cold rooms across the supply chain which helps the brand in various ways.
“We are making Skippi available on various platforms, outlets, and storefronts to ensure that our customers may use any channel to make a purchase. We will very soon be launching a Skippi app as well which will allow customers to stay tuned for any offers and new offerings. Further, we are also working on dark storefronts for speedy order fulfilments,” Ravi said.
“We market our products using pop materials across outlets India which includes posters, banners, and standees. Running ads on OTT platforms like Hotstar during hot events like IPL to drive traffic in offline as well as online spaces. Celebrity/ Influencer Marketing so that maximum people can hear about the product: to create consumer engagement with the brand and drive offline as well as online sales,” he added.
Skippi Ice Pops has a vast presence in the major cities in India due to its streamlined technical procedures.
“We are ensuring that we are integrating our business with technology right from the production front, marketing, sales, and also at customer acquisition. For getting more data from our POS, we are using third-party applications which will be used by our on-ground team to bring specific data of storefronts, at the same time ERP is being deployed at the backend too. We are ensuring that with technology we are able to scale our business to the next level,” he asserted.
The Growth Trajectory
The brand has been growing at an exponential rate. Skippi Ice Pops has sold over 3.7 million Skippi’s in the last 1 year. The sales growth from quarter 1 to quarter 4 is 28 times. The website sales have increased 5.8 times. The sales on Amazon have increased by Rs.9,717,801 from quarter 1 to quarter 4.
“Our distribution via Swiggy has jumped 3.9 times in just 3 months. Skippi has been delivered across 1,811 tier l, ll, lll cities in India. Additionally, a total of Rs 1 million worth of Skippi’s have been shipped internationally to Hong Kong, Kuwait, Uganda, and Nepal,” he added.
Skippi previously bagged the first funding from Shark Tank India. It was one of the first brands to receive an all-shark deal and the brand received a funding of Rs 10 million. That was a great turning point for the brand; ever since Skippi has reached new heights.
“Initially, our own investment was of around Rs 65 lakh, when we started in April last year. We are not looking at any funding at the moment, but if we do see an opportunity for the brand, we’d definitely consider it,” he said.
“My aim is to make Skippi Ice Pops available in every household in India, and to do that we must ensure our distribution network is strong (including targeting retail avenues like supermarkets, Kirana stores, or on online platforms). My next step is also to establish a large-scale production facility. Since we are the solo ice pops brand in India, we are struggling to work with the demands. And besides this, we are also seeing demands from the Middle East and African markets,” Ravi concluded.