Betting on new products and greater presence through smaller outlets, ice cream shops are looking to grow in an increasingly competitive market.
The recent incursion of Dos Pinos into the ice cream market is a reflection of the opportunities in this sector, where participants are betting on good service and innovation in order to compete.In recent years the market has changed with the inclusion of new product lines, different styles of ice cream parlors and new forms of customer service.
The regional trade fair for franchises 'Expofranquicias 2016', will be held on 12th and 13th of May in Costa Rica.
From a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica:
Costa Rica, March 14, 2016. More than 100 exhibiting companies and 4,000 investors from the Caribbean, North, Central and South America and Europe, will participate in the seventh version of the only regional trade fair for franchises: Expofranquicia, which will be held on 12th and 13th of May in Costa Rica with the aim of promoting the opening of new franchises in the region.
Five brands dominate this increasingly competitive segment of the dairy market, which has doubled its sales in the last five years.
Sales of single portion ice creams in supermarkets, grew by 88% between 2009 and 2014. Ice cream based on milk and water reported higher sales, achieving $50 million last year. The companies that dominate this market are Dos Pinos, Coronado, Pops, Monteverde and Sarita, and joining them are foreign brands which are venturing into this area.
The international franchise Pinkberry has announced the opening of two branches and plans to open another ten throughout the year.
In line with the growth of franchising in the field of restaurants, ice cream parlours and coffee shops in the country, the company Royal Food Services announced the opening of its first two Pinkberry branches, specializing in the manufacture of frozen yogurt.
The arrival of new franchises in the country has sparked fierce competition in an industry where product diversification, self-service and innovation are the key to winning over the market.
One trend which is booming is low-calorie ice cream made from natural products, as well as self-service counters at which customers can choose various combinations of flavors and pay according to the weight of the final ice cream.
Annual consumption per person increased from 182 liters in 2005 to 202 liters in 2013, while domestic production increased 18% between 2009 and last year.
Increased consumption of yogurt, ice cream, cheese, sour cream and flavored milks explains much of the increase in sales of milk products in general in recent years and the increase in national milk production, which rose from 890,000 tonnes in 2009 to 1,055,000 tons in 2013, according to the National Association of Milk Producers.
In the past five years, retail sales of ice cream have increased by 71%
The franchise model and market segmentation has been the scheme which artisanal ice cream shops have used to maintain their share in a market where 85% belongs to only one competitor, the cooperative Dos Pinos.
For thirty days, the company that dominates 90% of the market will not place its products on the market due to works taking place at its processing plant.
Grupo Estrella Azul, a major national producer of dairy products, has halted ice cream operations for a month due to a modification and maintenance plan at its plant in Transístmica. The brand has a 90% share of the market and according to reports has managed to stockpile a 10 to 12 day supply for while the plant is out of operation.
Grupo Nutresa has announced a binding agreement to acquire for $110 million 100% of the Panamanian company American Franchising Corp., ice cream manufacturer.
A statement from Grupo Nutresa reads:
Grupo Nutresa reports that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% shares of the company American Franchising Corp. (AFC)
Fulfilling the reporting requirements contained in paragraph 9 of subsection a) of Article 126.96.36.199.5 of Decree 2555 of 2010, Grupo Nutresa reports that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% shares of the Panamanian company American Franchising Corp. (AFC) in the amount of $110 million, a company engaged in the business of Ice Cream in Central America.
The Costa Rican firm has announced the opening of more stores in U.S. and Costa Rica.
Last February, the Pops ice cream chain opened its first branch in Miami measuring around 100 m2 and with an investment of $500,000. This was an initial step, because as well as operating this site in a mall in Pembroke Pines, it plans to open two more ice cream parlours in Florida during 2012.
Beginning in May the Guatemalan ice cream chain will open its first store in the Dominican Republic.
Fabiola Rodriguez, manager of Heladerías Propias de Sarita, stated that during the course of this year, 14 additional locations will open in the Dominican Republic, using the country as their platform to expand to the rest of the Caribbean.
"The company began testing the Dominican market in March 2010 with small ice cream places located in shops and pharmacies," according to Uriah Gamarro in her article in Prensalibre.com. "The executive said that by using the system, they were able to install three thousand freezers and were able to assess good acceptance by consumers, consequently deciding to open their own stores."
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