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Baskin Robbins to expand

Vinay Umarji  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

Feeling the heat of the ice-cream war, premium ice-cream stores' chain is expanding its reach across the country.
Moreover, the company is in talks with several businesses including international airlines and other food chains for possible tie-ups.
From 240 stores in 44 cities since 1993 in India, Baskin Robbins is now looking to take the number of stores to 750 by 2010 in 120 cities.
A 40:60 joint venture between US-based Baskin Robbins International, part of Dunkin Donuts, and Ghai Group, the company is looking to add 100 stores every year on franchisee basis, said Pankajj Chaturvedi, ED & CEO.
Offering premium brand of ice-cream, the stores are set up in two formats viz. kiosks and standalones, of which at present there are 100 kiosks and 148-odd standalone stores. Although Baskin Robbins has around 1,000-odd flavours in its bank, the company tries to provide at least 16 flavours at any outlet.
On the expansion plans and growing competition, Chaturvedi said, "As such we don't face any tough competition from mass ice-cream since we are in a premium category.
Our ice-creams are priced slightly higher than brands like Amul, Kwality Walls and others. However, we might face competition from imported brands that will begin selling in the hypermarkets in near future."
Joining the league of players like Amul, Baskin Robbins will also be introducing low-fat ice-creams in the next couple of months.
As of now, the company, whose stores target customers looking for ice-cream parlours, is facing competition from quick-service restaurants (QSRs) which offer other products like coffee, sandwiches and other products, said Chaturvedi.
Spread over an average area of 350 sq ft a single store requires a typical investment of Rs 12-15 lakh while a kiosk is set up for Rs 8-10 lakh on an average space of 150 sq ft area.

First Published: Wed, October 10 2007. 00:00 IST