Milking demand

Keventers to launch five experience stores in smaller towns, while also expanding its QSR and franchise store footprint

Milkshakes account for 60-70% of Keventers sales, while ice cream accounts for about 20%.
Milkshakes account for 60-70% of Keventers sales, while ice cream accounts for about 20%.

Milkshake and ice cream brand Keventers is eyeing a `120 crore turnover in FY23, on the back of new products and retail stores across the country. Besides expanding its retail footprint beyond the metros and extending its cloud kitchens, the firm plans to create new ice cream flavours and expand into the flavoured milk segment. It has already opened its first experience store in Zirakpur in Punjab, recognising the potential of packaged milkshakes in tier-II and tier-III cities.

Analysts expect India’s packaged milkshake segment to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% from 2022 to 2027, reaching $27.1 billion. A large young population, changing lifestyles, convenience, and value addition are the driving factors in this segment today.

Spinning the web

Agastya Dalmia, CEO and co-founder of Super Milk Products, which owns the Keventers brand, says the company has firmed up plans to launch at least five experience stores in tier-II and tier-III cities, with a few entry-level products set aside for these. “Through these stores, we will provide a holistic experience that will include games, improved product presentation, and a larger store size of 600-800 sq ft,” he adds, noting that it is easier to develop destination places in tier-II and tier-III cities, whereas metros lend themselves better to the quick service restaurant (QSR) concept.

Additionally, the company plans on rolling out 20 QSRs and 20 franchise stores across the country. Cloud kitchens are also being tapped for distribution in metros, a strategic shift from its sole dependency on QSRs before the pandemic. It has 25 cloud kitchens up and running, with another 10 planned for this fiscal. Currently,  45% of its revenue comes from food aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato, with the remainder coming from takeout and dine-in sales. It is also bolstering its presence in the Gulf, particularly in the UAE.

On the online sales front, Keventers has relaunched its direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform. Last year, it had collaborated with e-commerce and payments network DotPe, for the same, but that didn’t quite work out. It has now relaunched its D2C offering in association with restaurant ordering network Thrive, with an initial focus on selling ice creams. In 2021, it launched ice cream brand Ice Creamery, available through aggregators and QSRs, to strengthen its desserts offering.

Tough road ahead

Milkshakes account for 60-70% of Keventers sales, while ice cream accounts for about 20%. The brand has also introduced a few snacks items to its menu, including wraps and fries, which will be rolled out across stores soon. But it may not be easy to become a holistic F&B outlet. Given the fierce competition from local players in smaller towns, particularly chilled bottled brands, Keventers needs to focus on increased visibility.

“Despite the presumably good brand recall, availability drives market share in this type of business,” says Harminder Sahni, founder and managing director of Wazir Advisors.

Considering the fact that there is another company with a similar name — Keventer Agro in Kolkata — Sandeep Goyal, managing director, Rediffusion Brand Solutions, points out that the consumer might get confused. Keventers will have to “resolve this issue” before embarking on a pan-India rollout, he says. In addition, milkshakes are not an easy category for cloud kitchens. “Keventers must make significant investments in developing a ‘chill out’ culture in its outlets, centred around shakes and ice creams,” says Goyal.

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First published on: 11-04-2022 at 07:55 IST