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Ice cream industry in Pakistan.

Ice cream is a frozen product made from a combination of milk products and eggs, sugar dextrose corn syrup etc. It was once considered a sophisticated item of food is now becoming increasingly popular among the people. There are small, medium and large manufacturers of ice cream in Pakistan. Up to early nineties there were only 4 well known brands manufactured in Pakistan namely IGLOO, POLKA, ROCCO and YUMMY. In 1995 a multinational company Lever Brothers Pakistan entered in field and started manufacturing world famous ice cream Wall's in Pakistan. It has been estimated that total installed capacity for Punjab including recognised manufacturers, hotels, restaurants and unorganised sector is about 15.5 million litres annually. The provinces of NWFP and Balochistan installed capacity has been estimated about 6 million litres per annum. Now the total installed capacity of ice cream in Pakistan is about 47.5 million litres per annum.

Quality of Ice Cream

Ice cream is not graded on the market, as it is sold by the manufacturers directly to the retailer or consumer. The qualities that constitute a good ice cream are left more or less to the judgement of the individual manufacturers and his ability to judge the preference of the public. In general it is conceded that a high quality ice cream should have a rich creamy, sweet taste, be smooth of body, and close texture.

The richness of ice cream is influenced primarily by the fat content. If ice cream contains below 10 per cent of fat, it lacks richness. If too much milk fat is used it will be too rich. An individual cannot eat a very large serving of ice cream when it contains much more than 14 per cent of milk fat. Because of this fact, commercial ice cream seldom contains more than 14 per cent of fat, and if the laws within the state in which it is sold will permit, a slightly lower fat content is to be preferred.

The sugar, stabilizer and milk solids not fat in ice cream contribute to its quality and palatability. The sugar content should not be below 12 per cent. The general public prefers an ice cream containing 16 to 18 per cent of sugar. For several reasons, it is not practical for the commercial ice cream to contain as much as 16 to 18 per cent of sugar. A good quality of commercial ice cream contains from 14 to 15 per cent. The milk solids not fat will range from 9 to 11 per cent in a high quality ice cream, the gelatin or other stabilizer approximately 0.25 to 0.5 per cent, and the total solids content may range from 30 to 40 per cent, eggs are sometimes used commercially, and contribute a certain richness and smoothness to the finished ice cream. Under the law the manufacturers have to use 10% of fat, 10% of SNF, 12 to 14% sugar and rest are water and air. Following are being write-ups on leading brands of ice cream.

IGLOO Ice Cream

Pakistan Dairy Products (Pvt.) Ltd. Karachi are the manufacturers and distributors of Igloo Ice Cream in Sindh and Balochistan. IGLOO the pioneers in Ice Cream Industry in Pakistan made its appearance in 1971. They have introduced vast number of varieties from time to time and also proved themselves distinctive among the leaders of ice cream product innovations. Their production cell is fully equipped with the latest machines and equipments; a demand of advanced technological competition. On the other hand their management consists of highly experienced and professionally qualified personnels. The company achieved phenomenal success in terms of brand image and quality. Through their marketing research consisting of climatical and consumer preference, they were after to increase their sales. IGLOO ice cream have more than 40 per cent market share in Sindh and Balochistan with their 6000 number of outlets. They are also providing Deep Freezers maintenance and service facilities. Spread over in an area of about 6000 sq. yard the production capacity of Igloo Ice Cream is about 2400 liters/hour and the capacity utilization is about 78 per cent on single shift basis. They have also recently entered into the field of frozen food business through introducing Denmark's favourite brand of frozen cake "Dan cake".
Approximate Composition of Ice Cream and Related Products
(Figure %)

 Total Carbohy-
 Fats Solid Protein drated Ash

Ice Cream 12.0 38.0 4.0 20.5 1.1
Ice Milk 4.0 30.6 5.1 20.8 1.3
Sharbat 1.1 35.5 1.5 32.7 0.2
Ice - 33.0 - 33.0 -
Dried Ice Cream 29.0 98.0 10.0 54.0 7.0

POLKA Ice Cream

Unilever has acquired the shares of Ambrosia International Ltd., Mehran International Ltd., and Pakistan Industrial Promoters Ltd., which form what is often called the Polka group of Ice-cream companies. Polka is one of the oldest and well-known brands of Ice-cream in Pakistan. The Polka group has three factories in Hub, Karachi and Lahore, respectively. It employs more than 700 people and had a combined turnover of some Rs.725 million in 1995. Unilever's existing interest in Pakistan include Lever Brothers (Pakistan) Limited which manufactures and sells a broad range of consumer-products. Unilever is also the largest ice-cream manufacturer in the world with sales of over [pounds]3 billion from over 50 countries.

Unilever's international expertise in ice-creams and Polka's long experience of the Pakistan ice-cream market have brought significant benefits to the Pakistani consumer. Unilever will continue to develop and support both its Wall's brand and the Polka brand and will invest further in the Polka business to improve the manufacturing operations. The total production of Polka ice-cream in Pakistan at present is 13 million tonnes while that of Walls ice-cream is four million tonnes.

Of the three companies of Polka groups, Pakistan Industrial Promoters (Pvt) Ltd. (PIPL) was incorporated in 1970. It has a factory in Lahore. Mehran International Limited (Pvt) (MIL) was incorporated in 1975 and has a factory in Karachi and Ambrosia International Limited (Pvt) (AIL) was incorporated in 1984 and has a factory in Hub. Ambrosia is a public limited company while the other two are private limited companies. Products of all three companies are marketed under the Polka brand name. AlL also produces Movenpick under licence.

Polka is believed to have 75 per cent market share in Punjab, NWFP and Azad Kashmir. While in Sindh and Balochistan its market share is reportedly around 50 per cent. They have excelled in producing and marketing 60 variations. The marketing efforts have played a major role in the rapid growth of the packaged ice-cream market to its present size of Rs. 1 billion in value terms. Polka maintains its own distribution fleet of over 120 vehicles which deliver ice-cream from their three factories to about 20,000 retail outlets throughout Pakistan. A few years ago they entered into a licensing agreement with Movenpick Scholler of Switzerland, to manufacture Super Premium Ice Cream in Pakistan.

WALLS Ice Cream

Lever Brothers Pakistan Limited has invested Rs. 700 million for putting up a most modern Wall's Ice Cream Project. The factory has been built near Lahore at a cost of Rs.500 million. An additional Rs.200 million is being spent on Cold Chain Cabinets and delivery trucks etc. The new Lever Brother's Ice cream project is likely to generate direct and indirect employment over 240 persons. To ensure that their product is consistent with Wall's International quality, Lever Brothers have built a state-of-the art ice cream factory with the latest technology, computer controlled freezers and sophisticated manufacturing equipment including a waste water plant. The specifications of Wall's "cold chain" of storage and delivery vehicles exceeds current practice in Pakistan. A new "Ultra" freezer cabinet has also been developed for retail shops to ensure that Wall's product stays in perfect condition right up to the time of purchase in spite of power breakdowns. This is very important from the quality and hygiene point of view. Wall's in the light of their extensive research has brought various innovative products both in local and international flavours. They are confident that increased choice and international quality will en courage ice cream consumption and further expand the market in Pakistan.

ROCCO Ice Cream

The Rocco went into production in 1986. Basically, there are four kinds of ice creams; first, exclusively made from milk and butter; second from vegetable oil; third, fruit ice cream made with fruit pulp; fourth, water ice cream which is made of sugar and flavour. The ice cream produced by Rocco is fluffy because there is air in it. Rocco marketing their products in Punjab, NWFP and Azad Kashmir. They have "Lahori quifi" and "Awami quifi". Their sale in 1981 was Rs.80 lakh and it was Rs.100 million in 1994.

Non Dairy Ice Cream

At present Pakistan produces about 18.0 million tons of milk annually, out of which one third is consumed as liquid milk while the rest is converted into Khoya, Ghee and other products. The availability of liquid milk is not sufficient to provide per capita consumption as recommended by the International Organization. An effort has already been made to substitute skimmed milk powder with plant proteins in the toning of animal milk likewise, technology has to be developed for use of plant proteins in different sweets and confectioneries based on milk in order to stretch the available supply of milk for the vulnerable groups.

Attempts have been made to replace milk fats by vegetable hydrogenated fat in ice cream preparations. Now, it would be worth while exploring the possibility of substituting milk solids completely so that a satisfactory ice cream product would be obtained thus preserving the precious animal for more important use like infant feeding. The scientists and technologists of Central Food Technological Research Institute (India) (where the writer has been trained) have developed an ice cream product using protein isolate from groundnut in place of milk solids. The cost of such ice cream works out to about half of the milk based ice cream.

Ground nut protein isolate (Neutralised and spray dried) is used with the required quantity of sugar, fat, emulsifier and stabilizer are mixed together. This is dispersed in sufficient quantity of hot water (50-60 [degrees] C with continuous stirring to avoid formation of lumps. The emulsion is homogenized after pasteurisation. The product is kept for aging at low temperature (40 [degrees] C) before freezing. The final product is comparable to the conventional milk ice cream in texture, taste and other organoleptic qualities. The chemical composition of ice cream from milk as well as protein isolate is given below:
Production Capacity of Ice Cream
(Per annum)



Pakistan Industrial Promoters Ltd. (POLKA) Lahore 5.0
Yummy Milk Products (Pvt.) Ltd. (Yummy) Lahore 1.2
Kaghan Food Products Ltd. (Marila), Islamabad 2.4
Shah Shams Ltd. (Bonnis), Lahore 1.8
Pixie Ice Cream Ltd. (Pixie) Lahore 0.7
Happy Ice Cream Ltd. (Hico) Lahore 0.2
Hotels and Restaurants 1.0
Lever Brothers Ltd. (Walls) 5.0
Unorganized Sectors 3.2

TOTAL: 20.5


Mehran International Ltd. (POLKA) Karachi 13.0
Pakistan Dairy Products Ltd. (IGLOO) Karachi 4.0
Khan Food Industries, Sukkur 4.5
Hotels and Restaurants 1.5
Unorganized Sectors in Sindh 4.0

TOTAL 27.0


Source: Market Survey

 Milk Ice Isolate
Ingredients Cream Ice Cream

Protein % 4.0 7.0
Fat % 12.0 12.0
Carbohydrate 20.0 28.0
Calories/100 kg. 204 208

Source: Economic Review May 1986.

It is made in large scale in Pakistan, the additional milk which is being consumed by ice cream manufacturers, could be made available for needy sections, of the population of the country. This product can also be fortified with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids for improving its nutritional quality.


Multitier taxation system is the major problem of the ice cream industry. Octroi is multiple. Sometimes the industry has to pay octroi on empty containers. The industry is also subject to 15 per cent sales tax. Another problem is the competition from the unorganised sector. This sector is not subject to taxation nor maintains any quality control. Another problem is the ever rising input cost. Prices of all ingredients have increased. The increase in petrol prices directly affects the industry as the distribution of ice cream is mainly through petrol or diesel driven vehicles. The load shedding also increases the production cost by 20 per cent. Karachi area has law and order problems. There are intermittent strikes. Sometimes trucks loaded with ice cream are looted and plundered. They cannot move free in all localities.
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Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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