Ice creams are loved by one and all across the globe. From children to the elderly, almost everybody has their own preferences when it comes to choosing their favorite ice cream brands. The all-season popularity of ice cream products offers the F&B industry an opportunity to develop new and exciting ice cream products all the time.
However, in the markets or stores, consumers usually have the option of choosing ice cream products that are ready-made and preserved in cold storage. In addition, these products commonly have added preservatives to maintain their quality, flavor, and taste for a long time.
Such ice creams can be enjoyable to consume, but the experience cannot always be healthier due to their lack of freshness and artificial taste. With the rising health consciousness in the consumer market, people are increasingly looking for brands that provide them with fresh and natural products.
To satisfy consumers’ tastebuds with a wide range of flavors, The Ice Cream Lab LLC was established to offer Ice Cream lovers fresh and natural products.
Within a few years of its foundation, the ICL brand has efficiently established its consumer-centric product line in many parts of the world, becoming widely popular among global consumers.
With a vision to create delicious experiments to satisfy consumer cravings without guilt, its Operations Director, Mr. Sachin Pradhan, plans to enhance the brand’s outreach across the planet.
Let’s dive into the flavorful journey of the ICL in becoming the world-famous ice cream brand.
A Global Brand
Ice Cream Lab is an innovative international Ice Cream concept that originated in California, USA, in 2013. With its head office in UAE, the brand quickly spread its wing across the globe. Today, the Ice Cream Lab Franchise is present in over 12 countries, creating a rage amongst the locals.
The company has 25+ outlets in countries like Malaysia, Portugal, Sweden, Iraq, Nigeria, India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Nigeria, and Iraq. Recently, its management signed fresh agreements for Bangladesh and Germany. In India alone, Ice Cream Lab has over ten fully operational outlets in major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, and Kolkata, multiplying across the country.
Offering Completely Natural and Fresh Ice Cream
The Ice Cream Lab’s USP is its hundred percent natural ice cream base. It is made without the use of additives, preservatives, or artificial colors. The emulsifiers used are also entirely natural, with minimal use of sugar, making it low-calorie ice cream.
What also makes this ice cream brand unique is that it is made using liquid nitrogen within minutes of placing an order. It uses liquid nitrogen as the style of preparation to instantly freeze different natural ingredients into ice cream. The white smoke dissolving back into the air creates a theatre-like experience for customers. “While customers watch their delicious natural ice cream getting ready, they are awed by the making process itself, which takes under a minute to prepare,” says Mr. Sachin Pradhan.
Liquid nitrogen has proven to be an effective method for preparing fresh ice cream, as the liquid nitrogen disperses back into the atmosphere, freezing the Organic Cream Base at a temperature of minus 192 degrees Celsius or minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit in the mixing bowl. “Ice Cream Lab’s ice cream does not need to be stored or prepared in large batches. We make each cup fresh and make it at the time of order,” Mr. Pradhan tells us.
Bringing Exciting Flavors to the Market
The Ice Cream Lab in the UAE boasts 16 flavors that cater to the diverse tastes of the market. The flavorings range from the classic strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, cookies, and cream to the more succulent blends like vanilla crock chocolate, pistachios, salt lick crunch, yogurt ice cream, and lotus experiment, among others.
Milkshakes are also available for those who want to sip their desserts. Apart from ice cream and milkshake ice cream, the lab also serves cold and hot beverages such as coffee, hot chocolate, cold drinks, drinking water, and pastries such as donuts, croissants, Belgian waffles, crab waffles, etc.
ICL’s Core Values
Having core values in foresight helps a brand represent itself better to internal and external stakeholders in a meaningful way. Needless to say, it also adds crucial support to brands in expanding their presence into various markets efficiently.
ICL has set itself a set of values that enable it to serve its customers best, keep employees satisfied, and at the same time, contribute effectively toward its social responsibilities.
The core values of ICL are listed below:
- Provide the best quality products at the most affordable price.
- Provide the best working environment for the employees to get the best productivity.
- Provide simple yet exclusive, personalized customer service that would create customer loyalty.
- Provide a lucrative work environment, technology, and support to achieve higher profitability and greater success.
- Provide strong support to surroundings and society by actively participating in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities around the globe.
Balancing The Technology and Human Interface
Technology is merging with every industry in order to improve day-to-day operational efficiency, enhance productivity, and ultimately increase profits.
When we asked Mr. Pradhan how ICL is using technology for its benefits, he said, “Modern technology has proven itself only as beneficial for the success of Ice Cream Lab.” He further said, “The latest software technology for POS, online ordering systems, atomization of inventory systems, saving your records on clouds, avoiding bulky modems, has been proven a blessing in disguise.”
When he talks about F&B businesses, he states, “It has its own limitations of modern technology taking over human existence. Hence, we would rather have achieved a balance between technology and the human interface.”
Sachin Pradhan, as ICL’s Operations Director, has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality, retail, airline, travel, and F&B industries. He has been part of the opening teams for brands such as Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery, Tim Horton’s, and Ice Cream Lab. He has successfully launched these brands in the Middle East market and is completely involved in roles like HR, Training, Operations, R&D, and Franchise.
Mr. Pradhan, with his years of experience in leading large multi-site operations on an international basis and has a strong track record of driving business growth and meeting or exceeding challenging financial targets. His expertise can be beneficial for many entrepreneurs who wish to make it into the F&B industry.
To guide such aspirants in showing them the right path, he says, “Any entrepreneur who is entering into the F&B business mainly needs to possess one quality, which is that they need to be extremely passionate about the brand they wish to launch.”
Over the years, Mr. Pradhan has observed that many entrepreneurs who have the necessary financial backup or investment come across a new brand, and the initial process of becoming a franchisee of the brand happens on a strong impulse, which is frequently dissolved over time. He says, “Hence, an entrepreneur who is venturing into the food and beverage business has to first introspect on his decision towards taking a franchisee for a particular food brand.”
“Secondly, every entrepreneur should undergo vigorous on-floor training from food preparations to maintaining recipe standards, maintaining high quality and hygiene standards, to detailed cleaning. As a result, their team would uphold the brand standards to the best of their abilities,” he adds.
The third important factor, Mr. Pradhan points out, is that “the entrepreneur must get himself trained on the financial aspects, such as analyzing sales, maintaining inventory, accurate profit and loss statements, and controlling orders, as this is the most important aspect of launching any new F&B brand.”
Last but not least, he says, “the entrepreneur must keep a close eye on the latest market trends, what is selling in the market, and how the entrepreneur would reach out the information about their brand to the customers. With all these aspects, one can confirm the success of the entrepreneur in his new venture.”
Envisioning Future – 2022 and Beyond
Continuing on its global expansion journey, ICL has already signed Master Franchisees for Germany and Bangladesh in the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, its management is in talks with countries such as Nepal, Serbia, Jordan, and Israel to establish itself in these markets.
Speaking about the expansion plans for the ICL brand in 2022 and beyond, Mr. Pradhan says, “The goal is to expand Ice Cream Lab wings to at least another 12 markets and achieve the number of 50 plus outlets in 25 plus countries around the world.”
Before the pandemic, the ICL brand was already spreading worldwide at a fast pace. Due to COVID, the rate of progress was suddenly slowed for almost one and a half years.
“However, based on the response post-pandemic, we are very optimistic that by the end of 2022, we will have Ice Cream Lab in more than 25 countries around the world, with 50 or more outlets,” Mr. Pradhan asserts.
What the Franchisee Owners Are Saying
“I would highly recommend the ICL brand to everyone who wants to become a next-generation entrepreneur with an innovative brand because it’s an awesome ice cream with no ice crystals and no preservatives, no additives, low sugar, and which is recommended by many health-conscious customers in Mumbai.”
– Lalit Mohan Srivastava – Ice Cream Lab – Mumbai Franchisee
“Firstly, I am glad that I am part of I such an amazing team. I can state with confidence that Vikrant sir and Sachin sir motivated me, were responsive to every question I had, and most importantly, they understood who we are and what we are trying to do. They were with me every step of the way, providing valuable guidance. They helped me throughout this journey, and I am sure they will be at my side, supporting me till I become successful!”
– Venu Madhav – Ice cream lab Hyderabad, Hi-tech city Franchisee
Awards and Recognitions
- Most Emerging Brand of the Year 2022 by Global Franchisee Award
- Best Franchisee Brand of Year 2019 – Middle East
- Most Innovative Brand of Year 2020 – UAE