Everyone loves a good ice cream, and it’s one of the guilty pleasures almost everyone indulges in; everyone has their own time-tested favorite flavors, too. There is no occasion, family meal or celebration where a good tub of delicious and flavorful ice cream isn’t welcome.
Ice cream is a universal food that brings happiness no matter what mood a person is in; no matter what the feeling, a cone of ice cream can get the job done.
The thing that nobody likes about the ice cream, is the calories. Most ice creams are packed with artificial sweeteners, fats from dairy, artificial colors and fragrances, preservatives and additives and even artificial flavors.
How to build a global, guilt-free ice cream brand
But what if healthier ice creams could be made without the unwanted additions and zero guilt of putting on the calories without consuming all the artificial stuff? What if ice creams were made with natural ingredients and natural flavors?
This is exactly what two brothers in California pondered on when they created an innovative and natural way of making the most flavorful ice cream. They called it the “Ice Cream Lab”.
Ice Cream Lab is an innovative international ice cream concept that originated in California. In 2013, with its head office in the U.A.E., the brand very quickly spread its wings across the globe. After creating a rage amongst the locals, the Ice Cream Lab franchise today is present in over 12 countries with over 25 outlets in countries like Malaysia, Portugal, Sweden, Iraq, Nigeria, India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Australia and the U.K.
In India alone, Ice Cream Lab has over 10 fully operational outlets in major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata and is growing rapidly across the country. The ice cream brand has recently signed master franchise agreements in the U.K., Germany and Bangladesh. Markets soon to be added to the present list are Mauritius, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Ice Cream Lab will also be set to re-enter the American market.
Wow customers with a dazzling ice-cream freezing process
The brand’s ice cream base is 100 per cent natural. It is made without use of additives, preservatives or artificial colors. The emulsifier used is also completely natural, with a very limited use of sugar, making it a low-calorie ice cream.
What also makes this ice cream unique is that it is made-to-order using liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is used to instantly freeze different natural ingredients into the ice cream, and adds a theatre-like experience with the white smoke dissolving in the air. While customers watch their delicious natural ice cream being made, they are awed by the process itself, which takes under a minute to prepare.
Freezing with liquid nitrogen has proven to be an effective method for preparation of fresh ice cream, as the liquid nitrogen disperses back in atmosphere, freezing the organic cream base at the temperature of minus 192 degrees celsius or minus 320-degree fahrenheit in the mixture bowl. Ice Cream Lab ice cream does not need to be stored or prepared in large batches, making each cup fresh and made to order.
Ice Cream Lab in the U.A.E. boasts up to 16 flavors that caters to the diverse tastes of the market, from classic strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream to the more succulent blends like vanilla crock chocolate, pistachios, salt lick crunch, yogurt ice cream, lotus experiment, among others. Milkshakes are also available for those who want to sip their desserts.
“When we started in November 2014, we only had seven flavors and then based on the U.A.E. culture and taste, we developed yogurt ice cream, yogurt base acai ice cream and came up with eight more flavors. Through our R&D department, we can come up with thousands of new flavors suiting our customers’ taste from different cultures,” said Rashid Harab, founder and CEO, Ice Cream Lab.
Reduction in wastage
Air is composed of 72 per cent nitrogen and 26 per cent oxygen and the remaining two per cent of other compounds. Thus, when the ice cream is being made, the vendor is not disturbing the environment. All ice creams are strictly made to order, massively reducing waste of the product. This issue is quite common with other ice cream brands where the product stays in or on the shelf until it is completely sold or expires.
Inspiration behind the brand and market trends
The inspiration was simple – making everyone’s favorite food healthy and natural. The market was saturated with a variety of ice creams positioned at different levels from RTL to commoners ice creams to premium brands starting from $1 to $25 and more. The biggest question was, why would someone choose Ice Cream Lab’s ice cream?
Staying true to the Lab in Ice Cream Lab, the brand introduced the use of liquid nitrogen which not only instantly freezes the fruits, herbs and ice cream blends at minus 192°C or minus 320° fahrenheit but also creates a theatrical effect.
With this innovation, Ice Cream Lab has been able to make the ice cream base healthy and avoided the use of preservatives, additives, emulsifiers and artificial colors and flavors.
The current market is all about safe and healthy eating options, quick turnaround time, presentation or the Instagram ability of the product. Today’s consumer loves to show off their lifestyle including what they eat in selfies and videos on social media. Ice Cream Lab has the perfect blend of it all.
Ice Cream Lab strongly believes that anything sweet will never have a survival issue. On any occasion or celebration, something sweet will always be on the menu. Alongside creating the healthy ice cream option that consumers have been screaming out for, Ice Cream Lab has also created an entirely new experience around ice cream with its rapid nitrogen cooling technology, potentially creating a new category in the ice cream industry.
“I would highly recommend 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”, said Lalit Moham Srivastava, a Mumbai franchisee for Ice Cream Lab.
At a Glance Ice Cream Lab
Year established: 2013
Number of franchised outlets: 25 globally plus 10 in India
Location of units: Malaysia, Portugal, Sweden, Iraq, Nigeria, India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Australia, United Kingdom
Investment range: Single outlet franchise: $25,000
Minimum required capital: $26,000 + $20,000 including fit and construction cost