Editorial Team

Ice-cream giant Vadilal has announced a partnership with hyperlocal fulfillment platform ZFW to scale up its dark store business through 15 locations across Western India. ZFW enables the expansion of F&B and D2C brands to 100+ delivery locations across India without upfront capital investments, overheads, & headaches.

Vadilal traces its origin to the year 1926 when the humble Vadilal Soda Fountain outlet opened in Ahmedabad. As time passed, it amassed popularity & a loyal fan following for its authentic, delicious & wide variety of ice cream flavors. Today, Vadilal has evolved from a small retail outlet to one of India’s leading omnichannel ice-cream brands through product innovation & a customer-focused approach. The company has successfully taken on numerous global ice-cream makers who have often struggled to make their mark on Indian consumers. With this partnership, Vadilal Ice-creams will be focusing on an asset-light strategy to reach its customers.

ZFW founder Madhav Kasturia said, “It’s exciting to see a legacy brand like Vadilal diversify channels & focus on the dark store model to increase their footprint & growth. Supporting Vadilal in their dark store expansion is a major endorsement to our model & more importantly the hyperlocal fulfillment space. We aim to power Vadilal dark stores on the Western frontier & then down South.”

More than a year of social distancing & economic disruptions have triggered both subtle & seismic shifts in how Indians buy or consume products. Despite taking a major hit initially, consumer brands across categories witnessed a silver lining in the form of unprecedented demand for delivery. As brands look to scale hyperlocal capabilities in existing & newer markets, supply chain & fulfillment costs often skyrocket. ZFW steps in to assist through its OS platform & network of fulfillment centers.

Besides Vadilal, ZFW has also entered into partnerships with both homegrown & international brands across categories such as Baskin Robbins, Keventers, Artinci, Habbit Health, NOTO Ice-cream, Beijing Street, among others. The startup is backed by marquee investors, accelerators, & angels across India & the US such as Mumbai Angels, Expert DOJO, Huddle, etc.

“Vadilal as a brand is committed to bringing the finest ice cream products to discerning consumers across various territories. While our commitment to continuously grow our retail channel remains steadfast, our partnership with a new-age platform like ZFW enables us to accelerate our cloud kitchens rollout in a relatively short span of time. Partners like ZFW enable us to reach every doorstep across Mumbai through food aggregator platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, etc,” Vadilal Dairy International whole-time Director Rahil Gandhi, said in a statement.

The ZFW platform is currently present in Delhi, Mumbai, & Pune and is on track to enter South India later this year.

According to Bengaluru-based research agency RedSeer, India’s hyperlocal commerce sector is expected to reach $5 billion by 2025. The market penetration of quick commerce, which has an addressable size of 20 million households, is estimated to reach $300 million by the end of this year.

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