An erstwhile lawyer in Sydney, Australia, Roz Kaldor-Aroni used her university-acquired knowledge of food chemistry, in addition to gelato and ice cream training in Italy and Canada, to create Elato Artisan Ice Cream, a clean label product with 30 percent less added sugar and free from lactose, preservatives, and major allergens.
Since Elato’s launch in November 2021, the brand has earned awards for its aromatic flavours and minimally processed formula, including being named “best socially conscious food brand,” and is now sold at 390 outlets across Australia.
In Asia-Pacific, where the ice cream market is poised to grow at 7.3 percent CAGR by 2027, Kaldor-Aroni is determined to offer a flavourful yet healthier alternative to frozen desserts.
Retail in Asia speaks with Kaldor-Aroni on braving a saturated market.
RiA: How did you land at creating Elato?
Kaldor-Aroni: Ice cream has always been my go-to treat. When choosing ice cream at the supermarket, though, I’d regularly feel disappointed. Tackling my own health issues at the time, I’d stand in the ice cream aisle eyeballing the many so called ‘healthier’ ice cream options which I found to largely compromise on flavour and texture, with far too many chemicals and a poor after-taste due to the amount of sweetener.
I studied gelato making in Australia and Italy but ice cream appealed to me more because it contains less sugar than gelato.
RiA: You have quite an interesting background. How does this reflect upon your brand?
Kaldor-Aroni: I also co-founded and served as CEO of a not-for-profit medical research organisation, which gave me invaluable insights into the not-for-profit sector and the importance of social responsibility to the entire composition of a brand.
It’s partly due to this experience that Elato now donates half of all profits to OzHarvest – an incredible organisation that facilitates food rescue to feed the needy in Australia. Elato’s suppliers are ethical and I’m so proud to be supporting the communities of these suppliers across the globe.
RiA: What milestones have been instrumental in moving the business forward?
Kaldor-Aroni: The Elato brand of today is the result of a dozen key milestones, including launching our website in March 2021, door-to-door selling to retailers, and initial distribution to 200 national independent supermarkets. In December 2021, Elato was listed at Woolworths Metro Supermarkets, increasing total distribution to 275 stores. In 2022, our national distribution increased to almost 400 stores. [We have also seen] the rolling-in of accolades including “Best Ice Cream in Queensland” for 2022 for coffee flavour from the Qld Dairy Industry and “Best Socially Conscious Brand for 2022” from the Naturally Good Annual Expo in Sydney.
All of these milestones have greatly contributed to growing the business and have given it credibility in the eyes of customers.
RiA: What are the challenges of a saturated market, and how do you then stand out?
Kaldor-Aroni: There is always room in the market for niche brands that solve a problem. Elato stands out because it does just that – it solves problems our competitors do not.
We also have many additional features that solve other problems – such as being allergen-friendly, free from lactose, gluten, soy and nuts, being a clean label product with no use of chemicals or preservatives, and all our ingredients are extracted from nature.
We give half our profits to Ozharvest which appeals to the Australian market of socially-conscious consumers.
RiA: What are some marketing initiatives that have been successful?
Kaldor-Aroni: We are active on social media, where we have increased our following using influencers during our brand launch phase and then following-up with competitions that drive likes and our following. Our main marketing spend has focused on four areas: competitions on social media, running pricing, and other promotions in stores as requested by our retailers.
RiA: What’s next for Elato?
Kaldor-Aroni: Our current focus is to build the brand in Australia by expanding into more supermarkets and convenience stores. There are more than 4,000 supermarkets in Australia and double the number of convenience stores to-boot. We certainly are keen to enter the Asian market very soon – especially because Elato is lactose-free and lactose intolerance is so prevalent in Asia.