Do you have dreams of running your own ice cream shop? We’re here to tell you why this is a great business move, and how you can get involved in a profitable ice cream parlour franchise.
Brits love their ice cream. Whether it’s a refreshing Magnum on the beach or a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s in front of the television, we enjoy the indulgent treat on a range of different occasions. Over the years, new and exciting ingredient combinations have emerged, in line with industry trends. But there’s much more to being an ice cream vendor than serving up favourite flavours. Let’s run through the top five advantages of joining an ice cream parlour franchise.
Advantages of running an ice cream parlour franchise unit
1. Brits love ice cream
We’ll take a closer look at the popularity of ice cream later on, but it’s safe to say we love the cooling treat here in the UK. It comes as Italian gelato, American soft-serve and ice cream ‘scrolls’, it’s served in cones, on sticks and in tubs, and it can be eaten all year round.
What’s more, there are enough flavour combinations to suit even the fussiest of eaters. Options range from the standard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to unconventional flavours like carrot, cereals, beer and even cheese (if you don’t believe us, take a look at this article!).
Also, in the modern age, people love to photograph their food – and ice cream is often incredibly ‘Instagrammable’. If you can make your products attractive, it’s likely your customers will aid your marketing efforts by sending out snaps and indirectly recommending your business to their friends and family.
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2. It’s now become a year-round treat
While ice cream companies used to be seasonal businesses, there’s now a market for the delicious snack all year round. Vendors operating from a van often set up shop at popular events, while entrepreneurs who run an ice cream kiosk can benefit from consistent sales at venues like shopping centres and cinemas.
You’ll also be in a great position if you sell products to supermarkets and other retailers, as many people buy ice cream in the shops to enjoy as a dessert at home. Whether they’re enjoying it on its own or to top off an apple crumble, for example, consumers buy ice cream all year round, regardless of the weather.
3. You can find your niche
There is a huge variety of different kinds of ice cream – and more are being invented as time goes on! Where once the ice cream market was fairly narrow, the term now covers a wide range of products. From sorbet and frozen yoghurt to sugar- and dairy-free options, there are plenty of sub-categories in the ice cream sector.
By specialising in one or two sub-categories, you can make sure you provide a fantastic product to a specific customer base. Finding a niche is a great way of making a mark in a competitive industry, so if you can offer a better product than your neighbour, you’ll be able to develop a profitable business.
4. You can capitalise on market trends
The food industry in particular sees a lot of trends. As consumers document their most recent purchases on social media, others become keen to try out certain products, creating demand for innovative, new foods. By tapping into market trends, you can make sure you’re selling the ice cream products people are looking for.
Here are just a few examples of some of the biggest ice cream trends in the past few years:
- Rolled ice cream made by pouring the ingredients onto a cold metal plate and scraping them into scrolls
- Bubble waffle cones filled with ice cream
- Dairy-free and vegan ice cream
- Black ice cream made with activated charcoal
- Flavours like matcha and – the drink of the moment – gin and tonic
5. You can choose the right franchise for your ambitions
Ice cream parlour franchises come in all shapes and sizes. For example, Creams café sells “big, flamboyant desserts” from 1950s-style diners. Customers can choose between sundaes, waffles, crepes and desserts piled high with indulgent scoops – or just order ice cream on its own.
Meanwhile, The Incredible Ice Cream Company sets up eye-catching food bars in shopping centres, tourist attractions and private events across the UK. Visitors choose their cone and ice cream, and garnish it with their own choice of delicious toppings.
When you’re deciding which ice cream parlour franchise to join, you’ll probably be able to find one to suit your requirements. Opting for a mobile ice cream business may give you more choice over your working hours, for instance. On the other hand, a high street café will give you the chance to benefit from passing customers all day long.
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The current state of the ice cream industry
In the UK, ice cream generates around £450 million for the economy every year. Between 2014 and 2019, the market grew by 1.7 percent annually, as more and more people took advantage of the many businesses selling the tasty treat. From food trucks to shopping mall kiosks and dedicated gelato cafes, there are plenty of options for budding entrepreneurs hungry for a bite of the market.
One of the most significant recent changes in the food industry has been the introduction of delivery services. People love to order their favourite meals and snacks right to their doorstep. By starting an ice cream parlour with a delivery division, you can safeguard your business against future economic instability. When people can’t get to their nearest café or would rather stay tucked up at home, you can keep sales up by taking your products to them.
Running your own ice cream parlour franchise unit
If you want to become your own boss and sell delicious ice cream to eager customers, why not take a look at our catalogue of investment opportunities? We’ve collected some of the best ice cream parlour franchises to help you get started.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©