It is widely believed that, since ice cream is among the popular desserts, its production and sale is a very profitable and promising business, despite the high level of competition in the frozen treats market (there are more than 300 enterprises that produce them in our country). However, it is worth considering several factors that slow down the development of this segment. The first concerns the myth of the huge sales volumes of ice cream producers. In fact, ice cream consumption in our country is several times lower than in other countries. So, if the average Russian consumes less than 3 kilograms of ice cream per year, the average American eats 12 kg more annually. Such a significant difference is due to the difference in income, and climatic conditions, and the range of manufacturers, and distribution channels for finished products. In Russia, for obvious reasons, the largest volumes of ice cream sales are in the southern regions, where the hot period begins in May and ends in September. In the middle lane and, especially, in the north, the average temperature in summer is much lower, therefore ice cream is not so popular in these regions. In addition, ice cream for most of our fellow citizens is more likely to be a treat (dessert), and not a product of everyday consumption.
An additional minus is that ice cream requires special storage conditions, and if they are not observed, the product not only deteriorates, but also poses a health hazard (many parents do not buy ice cream for their children during the hot season, because they fear that the product deteriorated due to improper storage, hardware problems, etc.). Finally, seasonality must be considered. The season of active sales lasts only 3-4 months. In the summer, more than half of Russians eat ice cream. In winter, only about 5% of consumers purchase it. Ice cream sales peaks in April (first warming), July (the hottest month) and ... December (ice cream is bought on New Year's holidays). The season not only affects sales, but also determines the most popular positions: in the hot season, creamy ice cream in waffle cups, popsicles and popsicle sells well. Large packages and ice cream in briquettes are in high demand in the winter. There are no noticeable differences in ice cream sales except in the northern regions of our country. Although ice cream is sold there less than the national average, sales volumes are stable there throughout the year. Ice cream producers try to minimize seasonality in their sales. Someone expands the assortment by introducing “all-season” products into it, and someone is experimenting with the production of different types of ice cream in various packages. For example, in European countries the share of production of weighted ice cream is significantly higher than the share of its production in our country. At our place, manufacturers still prefer portioned rather than family ice cream. Out of season, ice cream cakes, ice cream cakes, ice cream curds are in good demand. These are relatively new products for the Russian market, but the demand for them is increasing every year.
Thus, even in the current market situation, it can be argued that this industry has the potential for growth. In addition, it requires a relatively small investment to start. Beginning entrepreneurs, as a rule, enter this business as intermediaries, and then organize their own production, buying existing enterprises or building a business from scratch. For a new product, several key factors are of great importance (in order of decreasing importance): price, packaging, quality and taste of the product. According to analysts, the demand for ice cream in our country is growing in direct proportion to the growth of incomes of the population. So far, according to numerous studies, of all these factors, price comes first. Given the fact that the culture of ice cream consumption in our country has existed for a very long time, this factor causes great bewilderment among specialists.
Unfortunately, in spite of everything, ice cream is still a delicacy, the popularity of which is determined by its value. On the other hand, this situation is in the hands of small enterprises, which begin their activity by producing the simplest and, most importantly, inexpensive varieties of ice cream. But even in this case, with limited financial capabilities, with a little imagination and creativity, you can find your own competitive advantage and survive in this market.
So, what is required to organize the production of ice cream? First of all, you will need to find a room for production. Its area should be from 200 square meters. meters with a ceiling height of about 3.5 meters. There will be an ice cream production line, as well as a packaging line, refrigerators, utility and utility rooms, including for staff. The room you choose must comply with the requirements of SanPiN 08/18/2019.551-96 and have a convenient access for transport, where finished products will be loaded. Each stage of production requires special equipment. Modern lines are not cheap, so young companies are trying to save money by purchasing used or not very productive equipment. The latter option is affordable, but this line allows you to produce only one type of ice cream. Subsequently, when your production expands, you will be able to sell this equipment and purchase a more powerful line. You can also initially purchase an expensive line. Of course, its liquidity will be higher, but the payback period of such investments will be longer. In addition, you can choose a turnkey production option. A simple line that allows you to make one type of ice cream will cost 2.5-3 million rubles.
Equipment for advanced production costs about 7.5-8 million rubles. In addition, such a line will require large production and storage facilities, respectively, the rental cost will increase.
However, whatever option with the equipment you choose - the budget or the most expensive, which you definitely should not save on, is the raw materials. Of course, no one produces ice cream containing exclusively natural milk, as in Soviet times. Now various stabilizers, additives, substitutes, vegetable fats are added to this product ... First of all, it is used to reduce the cost of production. The highest quality is considered to be ice cream based on animal fats with a minimum amount of additives.
The assortment of ice cream is determined by several factors. Before determining a product line, experts recommend conducting market research and will examine consumer preferences in your area. In one region, cream ice cream and ice cream are in greatest demand, while in another, fruit ice and fruit ice cream are in great demand. A wide variety of ice cream products require an expensive and modern production line. Of course, novice entrepreneurs can not afford this. Therefore, they have to concentrate on the most popular and cheapest types of products. Much attention should be paid to the development of packaging. It should be comfortable, bright and attracting attention. Ice cream is often chosen by the buyer himself in refrigerated cabinets, so his appearance plays an important role in making the choice.
The ice cream business is highly profitable and has relatively small investments. Capital expenses include the purchase of a production line (2.5-3 million rubles), refrigeration equipment (350 thousand rubles), equipment for packaging of finished products (550-600 thousand rubles), delivery and installation costs equipment (about 200-250 thousand rubles), working capital (including for the purchase of raw materials) - 2.5-3 million rubles.
Ice Cream Technology
There are several different classifications of ice cream. Consider the most common of them. Ice cream is produced in the following types: milk, cream, ice cream based on a milk mixture with a fat content of 2.8-3.5%, 8-10% and 12-15%, respectively; fruit and aromatic (without the addition of dairy raw materials) with the introduction of organic and coloring substances, as well as essences, into the syrup; amateur species with various fillers. Ice cream is also subdivided, depending on the features of its preparation, into soft (obtained by freezing the mixture without hardening), hardened (basic and amateur types), homemade. In addition, ice cream differs in the way of packing. In this case, it can be weighted, small-packaged (in briquettes, paper or waffle cups, glazed with chocolate, etc.), large-packaged (cakes, ice cream in boxes, in plastic bags, etc.). Ice cream is divided into several groups, depending on the raw materials used: milk-based ice cream (milk, cream, ice cream, sour-milk, whey), fruit-and-berry ice cream, sugar-based ice cream, sweeteners, sugar substances (aromatic); milk and fruit-based ice cream (sorbet, sorbet); ice cream made without freezing (food and fruit ice), milk-containing ice cream (milk-vegetable, vegetable-milk, vegetable-creamy, etc.). There is also a classification of ice cream, depending on the normalized mass fraction of fat. In this case, the product may be non-greasy, low-fat, classic (normal fat), greasy and high-fat. Depending on the taste ingredients, ice cream is divided into the following types: ice cream with fillers made in the form of a homogeneous mass (chocolate with the addition of cocoa powder, coffee with the addition of coffee extracts, chicory with the addition of chicory root extract, creme brulee with the addition of cream syrup - brulee, nut with the addition of nut pralines, fruit with the addition of mashed fruits and berries), ice cream with additives, made in whole in pieces or in the form of interlayers, streaks, spirals, core, etc. (ice cream with candied fruit, with j eat, with raisins, with fruits, with chocolate chips, with soft caramel, with nuts, etc.). Ice cream, depending on temperature and consistency, can be soft and hardened, depending on the method of manufacture - single-layer, multi-layer, in food coating, decorated. Ice cream products (cakes, rolls, muffins, horns, pastries) are placed in a separate group. Sour milk ice cream is rare, which, depending on the raw materials and starter cultures used, is divided into yogurt, acidophilic, kefir, cottage cheese, sour cream, sour milk, fermented baked milk, etc. Ice cream with vitamins is called fortified, and when using sugar substitutes, the name of the product is supplemented with clarification “With xylitol”, “with sorbitol” and further, depending on substitutes. When adding flavorings, the inscription “with aroma ...” is added to the label.
Ice cream production consists of several main stages. At the first stage, a mixture is prepared (preparation and mixing), then the product is filtered and pasteurized, after which the mixture is homogenized and cooled. Then it goes to milling, packing, hardening and packaging. The raw materials for the production of ice cream are milk, sugar, cream and other ingredients, depending on the recipe. The consumption of raw materials is about 8.5-9 thousand kg per 1 ton of ice cream. Ice cream factories operate on several technologies. Each of them has certain nuances. When using batch technology, the workshop is used to prepare the components of an ice cream mix, create a highly dispersed emulsion, pasteurize, homogenize, cool, ripen and milling it. The maximum productivity of a large enterprise in this case is about 1200-1300 kg of products per hour. First, the mixture for the manufacture of ice cream is supplied in liquid form to the mixing containers through the regeneration section of the heat exchanger. The mixture is heated to a temperature of 40-45 ° C as a result of this operation. Fat components are first melted in an oil melter, and then fed through a dispersant to special containers. Dry components of the future ice cream are also loaded into the disperser hopper, which are then mixed in stream with the original mixture and fats, resulting in an emulsion. The ice cream mixture is pasteurized in containers where steam is supplied through a bubbler. Upon completion of the pasteurization process, the ice cream mixture is pumped through the filter to the homogenizer, and then to the regeneration section of the plate heat exchanger. There it is partially cooled, after which it enters the heat exchanger for complete cooling, where ice water, brine, etc. act as a coolant. The mixture, cooled to 5-7 ° C, is supplied to the maturation tank. Their number directly depends on the assortment, type of packaging, freezer performance and other conditions. The use of portioned technology has a number of undeniable advantages. Firstly, the cost of a set of equipment in this case will be significantly less. In addition, it does not require qualified and experienced personnel to service it. Finally, due to the low level of automation and simplicity of design, the production process is as reliable as possible. However, there were some minuses. When using portioned technology, it is almost impossible to establish a product with high quality requirements. Such production lines are ineffective with production volumes of over 1250 kg of products per hour. Their additional drawback is excessive electricity consumption.
Also on sale there are lines for the preparation of ice cream mixes, working on a continuous technology. In this case, the production process includes the preparation of the components of an ice cream mixture with continuous and automatic feeding into mixing containers, the creation of a highly dispersed emulsion of multicomponent compositions, pasteurization in a thin-layer closed stream with exposure and automatic control of the pasteurization process, subsequent homogenization, cooling, maturation and feeding to milling .
The productivity of such a line is from 1250 to 5000 kg of mixture per hour. When using the technology of continuous production of ice cream, the mixture from the maturation tanks is sent to the continuous freezer, where it is whipped and saturated with air, while cooling from + 4 ° C to -5 ° C, depending on the type of ice cream. Ice cream, which is released from the freezer, has a soft consistency. By the amount of air that is added to the mixture, an indicator such as overrun is determined. Immediately after the ice cream leaves the freezer, various additives provided for in the recipe (jam, fruits, nuts, raisins, crushed chocolate, etc.) are introduced into it. For this, various devices are connected to the production line. After saturating the ice cream with various ingredients, the mixture enters the dosing devices that form it. After that, the formed ice cream is cooled and packaged. The advantages of this technology are to ensure guaranteed line performance while observing the thermal conditions of the mixture processing. Such production is more economical. The line is automated, due to which the probability of errors is practically excluded.
The equipment is supplied with separate mounting units, which reduces the buyer's costs for installation and commissioning. The equipment is characterized by low consumption of heat and coolants. It does not require large areas for installation and production, provides continuous production technology in compliance with high sanitary standards.
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