Natural Ice Cream is an ice cream brand owned by Mumbai-based Kamaths Ourtimes Ice Creams Pvt. Ltd. It was founded by Raghunandan S Kamath who opened its first store at Juhu, Vile Parle (Mumbai) in 1984. The company manufactures under Kamaths Ourtimes and retail operations under its subsidiary company Kamaths Natural Retail Pvt. Ltd. Kamaths Ourtimes is an ISO 22000:2005 certified company. The 2017 rebranding effort, which established the ‘Taste the Original’ tagline, was aimed at setting it apart from me-too brands popping up. On completing 35 Years in 2019, the brand launched an experiential concept store in Juhu named Naturals Now, which serves freshly churned ice cream straight out of the churner.
The chain currently has 135 stores across India, with 8 stores under the direct control and the rest as franchised locations. The stores are present in key cities of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Kerala, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR Region. In the fiscal year 2014–2015, with a total retail area of 60,000 sq. ft, the chain’s annual retail turnover crossed Rs. 115 crores.
Production and trade
The brand’s only production facility is situated in Charkop, a suburb of Kandivali in Mumbai, India. The company supplies to its own stores everyday, which is unique in the Indian ice cream industry. The company spends less than 1% of its sales revenues on advertising, relying instead upon brand recognition and word of mouth to attain revenues.
Starting with around 10 flavours, today Natural Ice Cream has 125 flavour options, of which 20 are offered throughout the year. The set of flavours change according to seasons. Some of the seasonal flavors include litchi, fig, jackfruit, Muskmelon and watermelon. A custard apple flavor is also purveyed by the brand.
Awards and recognition
In 2006, the brand received Corporation Bank’s National SME’s Excellence Award in the Food and Agro Industry. In February 2009, a Natural Ice Cream store located in the Juhu Ville Parle Development scheme placed in the Limca Book of Records for the largest ice cream slab, which weighed 3,000 kilograms. The brand was awarded as Best in Customer Service – Regional Retailer Of the Year in 2013. In 2014 the brand received the gold medal for most innovative ice cream flavour (cucumber) in the Great Indian Ice Cream Contest. In 2016, Natural Ice Cream was awarded for home grown concept in food service by Coca-Cola Golden Spoon Awards and also received IMAGES Most Admired Food Service Chain of the Year in the Ice-cream & Dessert Parlours category.
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