India finally has its first ice pop brand called 'Skippi'. To bring back schools days memories of having 'ice pepsis', Hyderabad-based entrepreneurs Ravi Kabra and Anuja have launched the first-of-its-kind brand made of 100 per cent natural ingredients such as natural colours, flavours, preservatives and sweeteners.
The husband and wife duo had moved to Australia for 7 years and while being there, they enjoyed having local Ice pops. "My sister, who had come to visit us in Australia, packed a few ice pops in her bag while returning. On asking, she told us that there are no Ice pops brands in India which she could trust. This is when we started to do primary and secondary research. To our surprise, we realised that in a hot and humid country like India, there were absolutely no ice pops brand, so we decided to jump right in," Kabra told The Logical Indian.
Started in April 2021, it is the first ice pop brand to be sold on organised retail shelves in the country.
Discards The Need To Have Freezers
Besides the product being 100 per cent natural ingredients based, the packaging of Skippi Icepops is also very unique. The product is manufactured, distributed and retailed in liquid form at room temperature. This discards the need to have any freezers or cold rooms across the supply chain.
"Customers can freeze the ice pops home and enjoy it for the next few days," the two claimed.
"The pops even if left in the freezer for many days, say 100 or more, will never turn hard ice cubes but shall remain soft and crunchy all the time, making enjoyable by both kids and adults without hurting their teeth," they added.
The founders said that avoiding artificial colours, harmful flavours and bringing something natural, fun and yet healthy was one of the significant challenges in their journey. "We chose from hundreds of ingredients and offer the best taste, quality and experience to our customers by extracting colours and flavours from fruits and veggies," the two claim.
The couple wanted to move away from toxic packing materials that are recycled several times yet offer good shelf life.
Due to the country's poor infrastructure, where most stores do not have a freezer and cold transportation, the two formulated a product that could avoid refrigerated trucks and be shipped in liquid form and at ambient temperature yet keep the shelf life intact.
It turns into a hard ice cube upon freezing water, which is not easy for kids or adults to bite upon. Our ice is soft and crunchy," the two said.
The startup has sold these ice pops across 2000 stores in India in 8 months. Skippi is currently available in six exciting flavours- Raspberry, Orange, Cola, Mango Twist, Bubblegum and Lemon and is the only ice pops brand on Amazon, Flipkart and Big Basket.
"We are now looking to establish our strong sales team across states, get into every street-level store to make 'Skippi Icepops' a national brand," the founders said.
Skippi Icepops is one of the most successful startups to be featured on Sony TV. It received funding of Rs 1 crore for 15 per cent equity in the first edition of Shark Tank India.