“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
The dessert market is gradually moving towards frozen yogurt, overshadowing ice creams as more people are opting for a healthier alternative without comprising on the ‘taste’ factor. The Indian Market has opened gates for various frozen yogurt brands and chains. According to a Technopak report, The Indian yogurt market, including frozen yogurt was estimated at $135 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $260-280 million by 2015. It is a healthy dessert choice as it possesses the natural goodness of non-fat yogurt such as calcium, protein and is the best option for heath and calorie conscious people.
Cocoberry is India’s first Award Winning high end Yogurt Chain. The name is a blend of two words “Coco” from Cocoa beans and “Berry” from the assortment of fruits that the company serves along with freshly made non-fat frozen yogurt. They currently have 4 flavors which are customizable with fresh fruits like Blueberries, Strawberries, Kiwi, Mango, Pomegranate, Musk Melon and Black Grapes or dry toppings such as Oreo Cookies, Snickers, Granola, Sliced Almonds, and Walnuts. Apart from frozen yogurt, they also provide smoothies, coffee, teas and sandwiches.
GS Bhalla, the man behind Cocoberry prepared himself to be a successful entrepreneur at a very young age. When he was 7, instead of playing cricket with his friends he opened a small book stall in his house where he rented out his old comic books. He took up a job for three months at the Taj Cake Shop during a summer break in school where he explored how the retail and customer service business worked. After graduating from Delhi University, he started with a corporate gifting company and before he knew it the business had taken off. He then started catering to healthcare companies in the US with back-end services and was constantly travelling around the world. The idea of frozen yogurt came across him when he was on a business trip to South Korea. Bhalla loved the concept of providing a healthy dessert that is low on calories but has a unique and delicious taste.
After coming back to India, he overhauled the idea before working on it. He reckoned that frozen yogurt would work great in a hot country like India and was also appropriate for the health conscious urban youth. The research took almost one and a half years before Cocoberry launched its first outlet in South Delhi’s sophisticated Defence Colony in the year 2009. The frozen yogurt at Cocoberry is served with a wide range of fresh fruits and chocolate toppings, some of which have already been mentioned above.
Social Media and guerrilla marketing have played a pivotal role in its success. Today with 25 outlets across India, it has more than 2.1 million fans on Facebook and was placed in the top 30 food brands in an article by Forbes. Cocoberry has used Facebook as an effective tool to cater to the needs of its customers and respond back to them in the shortest span of time. Whether it’s about a new product launch or opening of a new store, it never fails to use social media to reach its customers. The idea is to present the activities in a very exciting way so that the fans spread it virally by sharing it. Cocoberry encourages fans to express their opinions about a particular product or service which helps them to understand what consumers are thinking about their brand. Its social media team makes sure that all the developments of the brand are posted on the page and queries are answered on a regular basis. Cocoberry had partnered with UTV Motion Pictures and Dharma Productions in the release of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. The company was also approached for a joint marketing campaign by Yashraj Films for Mere Brother ki Dulhan and Warner Bros for Happy Feet 2.
After Cocoberry, Amul’s Flaavyo, Kiwi Kiss and the American yogurt brand Red Mango have also entered the market. The company had started with an initial investment of Rs. 10 lakhs and currently has a turnover of Rs. 11 Crores. “It was challenging for us to build up the market for a new concept. We started with an extensive social media campaign on the day of Cocoberry’s inception itself which helped us capitalize on the tremendous mindshare of consumers,” says GS Bhalla who wishes to make Cocoberry a global brand.