Ice Cream Processing Overview
- Ice cream manufacturing business can be initiated on a small-scale basis with moderate capital investment. It is defined as a frozen dairy product made by suitable blending and processing of cream and other milk products together with sugar, flavor, stabilizer, and incorporation of air by agitating during the freezing process. Ice cream is consumed by all sections of society, particularly children.
- Producing ice cream mix requires a high degree of flexibility and efficiency, with the need to handle a variety of dry and liquid ingredients, adapt to seasonal demand fluctuations, and create an innovative and varied product port folio. Successful mix preparation requires knowledge of many different aspects of production, including freezing, handling, homogenization and pasteurization as well as an understanding of how these processes affect your ingredients.
Is Ice Cream Processing Business profitable?
- Today ice cream may be considered a luxury food item although its popularity is increasing rapidly. Ice cream is consumed more in cities, However occasionally, particularly in meetings and social gatherings, it is being used even in villages and towns. The consumption of ice cream is likely to increase in the future.
- The selling price of ice creams depends on several factors. The profit margin for franchise owners is a bit low, as they need to give a certain percentage of the total sale amount to actual ice cream factory. But surveys suggest that a small independent ice cream shop owner can anything between 20% and 40%. It varies as the cost of ingredients is not same in parts of India. People in urban areas may pay Rs.130 for one scoop of chocolate ice cream. But you cannot expect the same response in outskirts and villages.
- India has tropical weather, with summers being the longest in the country. As a result, the Ice Cream industry appears to be the most profitable among specialty food enterprises. The ice-cream industry has seen some significant innovation in recent years.
- There has been a sweeping change in the ice cream business ideas with the changing market conditions. Though the basic planning remains the same, the concept has little changed, which is vital to competition.
Eight steps to follow to start a profitable Ice Cream Processing Business
Create a Business Plan
Starting an ice cream manufacturing business can be extremely lucrative, as long as you have researched other ice cream businesses in your area and developed a detailed business plan. Take some time and write down the different aspects of your Ice cream manufacturing business plan (as mentioned below).
1) Market Study
2) Determine the Product & Business Model
3) Prepare the Business Budget Plan or Project Report
- Before initiating the unit, you will need to prepare the commercial ice cream manufacturing business plan or project report. In the business plan, you will need to mention the business objective, organization pattern, means of finance, production process, and financial aspects including the marketing plan.
- A customized project report consists of two basic parts. These are the technical aspect and project economics. The technical aspect includes the machinery, raw materials, manufacturing technology, etc. On the other hand, project economics consists of the project cost and profitability RO.
2. Choose a Location for Ice Cream Processing Buisness
- Once you have done the market analysis and drafted the comprehensive plan, the next step is to move out and look for the location where you can start the business. Check the rent and other considerations before finalizing.
- Selecting a location for the factory is a critical aspect of this business. The location must be close to the market where you are expected to sell your products. The reason primarily is to reduce the distribution cost, which plays a big role in making the business profitable.
3. Name your Ice Cream Processing Business
Selecting the name should be based on the points discussed previously. Make sure to keep the name simple and friendly to remember. Adding a personalized touch is always advisable, but it is easy to recall.
Select a name for your business that is catchy and easy to remember for people. In addition to this, check whether a relevant domain name is available or not if you intend to make a website.
4. Make the Business Legally Compliant
- Check with local authorities and understand the permits and licenses required to operate an ice cream manufacturing company. These operating terms differ from state to state and countries.
- Furthermore, choose a proper business structure under which you are going to run an ice cream manufacturing business.
- For example, if you are from the United States, forming an LLC will provide you with some extra benefits at an extra cost.
5. Machine & Equipment for Ice Cream Processing
The Ice Cream Manufacturing Processing Plant is basically composed of:
- Pasteurizer Tank With Heater
- Transfer Pump/Filter
- Plate Heat Exchanger
- Agitation Tank with Refrigeration Section
- Flavor Tank
- Continuous Freezer
- Fruit Feeder
- Filling & Packing M/c
- Cold Room.
6. Cost of Starting Ice Cream Processing Unit
- The cost will obviously depend on the size and the production capacity of the unit. One can start a small-scale ice cream-making unit with as low as Rs 7,00,000 to 15,00,000
- There are no extra points in guessing that opting for a franchise is smooth, but the expenditure will be high. Most reputed ice cream manufacturing companies may charge anything between 3 lakhs and 5 lakhs.
- The amount varies from one company to another. If you do not desire to spend so much, then you must manufacture and sell your own ice creams. A rough estimate suggests that you will be able to arrange all equipment, supplies and start production with as much as 1.5 to 2.5 lakhs. The amount might vary from one state to another. If that sounds too much for you, then starting a small scale ice cream manufacturing business will cost no more than Rs. 70,000 to 1 lakhs.
7. Ice Cream Manufacturing Process
There are 3 stages in an ice cream manufacturing process. Firstly, the raw ingredients mainly milk, added milk powder, sugars, and fats such as cream, butter, or vegetable fats, must all be heat treated (cooked) and blended through heating to emulsify the fat in the mix. The mix is heated to a temperature of 65-85°C for a specific time to be achieved.
Step 1 of Making Ice Cream
Firstly, the raw ingredients mainly milk, added milk powder, sugars, and fats such as cream, butter, or vegetable fats, must all be heat treated (cooked) and blended through heating to emulsify the fat in the mix.
The mix is heated to a temperature of 65-85°C for a specific time to achieve pasteurization which then kills harmful bacteria present in the pre-heated ingredients. The heat treatment is usually defined in the Food Regulations that apply in the country of production.
Step 2 of Making Ice Cream
Secondly, the heated mix must be cooled rapidly, regulations normally specify this must be done within 1.5 hours, to the required temperature, usually, 7°C or lower, and most equipment will usually continue this cooling down to 4°C. Once cooled the mix is allowed to age before flavors such as strawberry, mint, vanilla, and other fruit pastes are added.
Step 3 of Making Ice Cream
Finally, the chilled mix is frozen to -6°C to -9°C, very quickly within 5-10 minutes in either a continuous or batch freezer by way of a churning/whipping process. During this freezing cycle, the complete mixture is poured or pumped into the freezing chamber of the freezer to be frozen. Inside this chamber the mix, now containing sugars, water, fats, and proteins is partially frozen incorporating air bubbles, resulting in a finished ice cream similar in consistency to soft-serve ice cream.
8. Promote your Products
- Finally, marketing your ice cream products plays a key role in establishing your ice cream manufacturing brand.
- Create a professional website that includes information about your services, company area, contact information, and an inquiry form. Make some educational blog posts for your website. It undoubtedly assists you in developing great brand values.
- Create business cards, brochures, and fliers as needed. Create a social media page and a website to increase visibility. Share your new and seasonal deals regularly.
* Quality Control for Commercial Ice Cream Making
- You must prepare the ice cream with cow or buffalo milk.
- You will need to use only the permitted food colors.
- The product should be free from mold and fungal growth.
- Also, it should be free from any fermented odour, coliforms, salmonella, and streptococci bacteria
- Ice cream shall contain a minimum of 10% milk fat, 3.5% protein, and 36% total solids.
- And finally, you must not apply the stabilizing agents exceeding 0.5% by weight.
In a country like India where the population density is very high, ice cream making is a profitable venture to start for entrepreneurs. However, it is a working capital-intensive business. Hence, you must have a clear knowledge of distribution and channel management.