History of India’s leading Naturals Ice Cream
India, also known for its diverse culture, the Hindi film industry- Bollywood, its colourful celebrations and festivals, the large population, historical mathematicians, its incredible architect, also not to forget, delicious Indian food.
But there is one more major fact which is missing i.e, Indians have a long love affair with “sweetness”. Speaking of which, there is another thing which is famous in India – Naturals Ice cream Parlour.
Naturals ice cream is India’s most successful ice cream brand owned by Mumbai based Kamaths Ourtimes Ice Creams Pvt. Ltd. It founded in 1984 by Raghunandan S Kamath, also known as the ice cream man.
R.S. Kamath was born in a tiny village called Mulki in the Puttur taluka of Mangalore, Karnataka. His father was a fruit vendor and earned all from leasing trees and selling fruit.
Kamath assisted his father in his fruit business and learnt the fine art of picking the ripe fruits by monitoring and preserving it. It is said that he could tell the perfect fruit from the way it looked. Soon, he fell in love with the world of fruits.
And then he wondered, now he could make the whole world fall in love with fruits, just the way he does. So, he boarded a train to mumbai (then bombay) with a second class ticket in his pocket and a first class idea in his mind.
After coming to Mumbai, he joined his brother who made Gokul ice-cream. But he wanted to diversify, so he separated from his brother in 1983.
“The idea was so original that it would change the life and landscape of Indian ice cream industry forever!”, he wondered.
What was his idea?
Kamath’s ice cream intention began about 40 years ago with a simple question. “If ice cream can have fruit flavours, why can’t it have real fruits in it?” He managed to collect some money from his brothers and friends and put up an ice-cream outlet in 1984 at Juhu, Mumbai – with four staffers and 10 flavours. Some of the flavours were strawberry, mango, watermelon, custard apple etc. And, from the very first day it attracted a lot of customers.
What is the speciality about the ice cream?
They use only 3 ingredients i.e. fresh fruits, dry fruits (optional), milk and sugar, with absolutely no preservatives, colouring agents, chemicals or any other additives.
The ice-creams are tasty, smooth and soft with imported Indian flavours. Some of the newly flavours added were custard apple, mango, jackfruit, papaya, pineapple, mulberry and almost a fifty to hundreds other flavours.
He believed in creating totally Indian flavours, for instance – cinnamon and muskmelon. Tender coconut and chikoo are extremely popular. Some seasonal fruit flavours like litchi, custard apple, guava and kala jamun are also available.
Custard apple flavours were very tough to make, so he looked back on his mother’s homely technique of removing stones from rice by swirling it in water. Using that same old technique, he made an equipment to de-seed the custard apples.
He used another technique of not using spoons but gently tossing fruits so that they do not break.
Also, his mother’s cutting technique (length, small or crushed pieces) which he used in cutting fruits, for each differently.
There was a lot of demand for naturals ice-cream and in the tenth year, in 1994, Kamath decided to have more outlets and he started five more in Mumbai. They all started doing well and he decided to go to other places. Today, there are more than 100 outlets in India.
One of the outlet in Mannagudde, Mangalore – they have renovated and changed the interiors into their back-story written on the wall. Because they haven’t forgotten the fact that “It all began right in Mangalore”.
Kamath claims that all over the world, they are the only ones making ice-cream with only three ingredients.
- They avoid using techniques like ageing or air-pumping to retain the traditional flavour.
- He puts excessive efforts to maintain quality and picks only the best ingredients for his ice creams and buys the milk from the most trusted suppliers.
- As for the fruit, he says: “Since my childhood, I’ve had great knowledge of fruit. I can identify the exact fruit that should be used for making pulp.”
If you reside in India, I am sure, many of you might have tried, but if you reside abroad and happens to visit India someday, I would recommend to try Naturals Ice cream for at least once.
This is where I end my informative blog. Thank you for reading (: