Want some ice-cream? There is Hagen-Dazs for the elite, London Dairy and Gelato for the upwardly mobile and Kwality Walls for the price-conscious. So, can an old brand, from the Delhi of the 50s, hold its own against this influx of foreign flavours? The red and white logo of Giani’s says a resounding ‘yes’. Here’s how it has not just managed to stay afloat, but also carved a niche for itself.
60 years earlier…
We have heard of garage bands. Giani’s is a garage shop that was opened in 1956 by Giani Gurcharan Singh, selling just one item: Rabri Falooda, which was made from a family recipe. Initially called ‘Gianis di Hatti in Fatehpur, they had added handmade ice-cream to the mix within a decade, introduced some new flavours, and made the timely jump to machine-made ice cream in the 70s. The machines were imported all the way from Italy.
Innovation is the flavour
Machines do what they are supposed to, but one has to be up to speed with latest flavours and customer palates. So, while the Rabri Falooda continues to be a favourite, Giani’s has branched out massively and included everything from Sundaes to smoothies to contemporary flavours like Blueberry and Belgian Chocolate, with just a touch of Punjabi. Their latest is the red velvet ice cream, a melt-in-mouth variant of that favourite flavour of cupcakes. Try also the Cold Stone Sundae, an ice cream made, yes, on stone.
Natural came to Delhi about two years ago, and everyone expected it to shake up the market given its stellar run in Mumbai. Plus, there’s always a new ice-cream brand or chain coming up. You’d think it would threaten them. “We are not looking at them. We focus on our research and development, our flavours, get customer preferences and innovate. Our base is very loyal and like our brand says, we’re everything Delhi,” says Anand Singh (Alumni of Le Cordon Bleu, London), the scion of the family and currently at the helm of affairs at Giani’s. So what’s the ice cream that best captures the essence of the capital? The Giani’s Special, which is vanilla with pineapple and strawberry — our summer senses can already feel the cool of it.
The omnipresent ice-cream
As for their presence in Delhi, whether you are craving something sweet after a kebab spree at Rajinder Da Dhaba or the upmarket Green Park Extension that is just a stone throw’s away, a Giani’s is always round the corner. Currently standing at over 60 outlets in the north, including UP, Punjab and Gurgaon, they plan to move to Mumbai soon. Very soon. So Delhi, we might be one up right now, but very soon you won’t be using this point in the famed debate.
A touch of legacy, a hint of nostalgia, the refined taste of today, things are definitely going right for them. As for us, the summer calls for some serious binging on their delicious delights. There is no better time!
The main image for this article was sourced from Pixabay