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Published on: June 21, 2022, 4:35 p.m.
Artiste and the art of making ice-cream
  • Flavour of the season: best ingredients are used to create Artiste’s ice-creams

By Suman Tarafdar

“When people think of us, they need to think of art,” says Madhusudan Parikh, founder, Artiste. “We give the consumer an ice-cream experience they have never had before, anywhere in the world.” A substantial claim, and one that is being made by a relatively new player in the market. In fact, the brand compares its products to art. Indeed, its 31 flavours even evoke art in their names ¬– Fruity Art, Signature Art, Vedic Art, etc.

“It’s all about process,” adds Parikh. “Since inception, we have aimed to treat the process of making ice-cream as what it is, an art form. Like an artist, we are careful, meticulous and, most importantly, highly creative. We always choose the best ingredients and create our ice-cream in small batches, so that our ‘artistry’ remains intact and, even more important, the consumers can experience it, enjoy it, like they would experience a painting or a piece of music from their favourite artist.”

The brand name was coined to create an equivalent of good art in food, informs Parikh. “The idea was to have people connect and create a distinct clientele who appreciate, enjoy and relish fine things in life.” A veteran of the sector, he says the key focus is to use the best ingredients. “Cow’s milk, cream, honey, jaggery (cutting out the need for white sugar), are all healthy for us. Even the flavours have been decided keeping the health benefits of the specific ingredients in mind. Our chocolate, coffee, etc, are all pure, sourced from premier sources, to ensure that there is no adulteration and the consumer extracts all the benefits, nutrients, antioxidants, etc, they come from them. Other flavours use fresh fruits and ingredients like ginger, mint, tulsi, nutmeg, chia seeds, all chosen for their specific health benefits, blended in a way that gives the consumer an ice cream experience they have never had before, anywhere in the world.” The ice creams are priced Rs150-250 for 120 ml tub, while the 500 ml ranges from Rs600-750.

Artiste was born during the pandemic, which itself was a challenge, coping with closed stores and low consumer confidence. The challenge, Parikh says, will always remain to sharply be where there are right audiences; we can’t go by traditional method of mass distribution. Manufactured in Gurgaon, its plans include creating blended artistic experiences, mini-concerts, art shows to create awareness about the brand, etc.

The Indian ice-cream market

The Indian ice-cream market is worth about Rs20,000 crore and is expected to grow by 12 per cent CAGR. The premium ice-cream market is fragmented and may occupy 10 per cent, says Parikh. “The market is divided in geographies and there are many dominant local/ regional brands. Regional and local brands have the advantage of proximity and low-cost operations, if they continue to play the same game. For national brands, it’s a game of availability.

Also, there is confusion on ice-cream versus frozen dessert. The Indian market is dominated by commercial ice-creams for masses, products that follow a generic approach, set-ups mainly to cater to the bottom of pyramid consumers, with low quality and cheap ingredients. However, a distinct pattern is now emerging. Everywhere in the world, including India, consumers are moving towards premium categories and have started looking for ingredients and clean labels.

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