CEO Series

This M’sian F&B Brand Was Built On A Dream: To Eat All The Ice Cream You Want & Not Get Fat

  • Calli is a brand that manufactures ice cream low in calories and sugar, Calli brands their products as treats that can be consumed guilt-free every day.
  • The brand was created by Dzarrin Alidin and Nathaniel Loe in late 2018, and now serves both the Malaysian and Singaporean market.

The problem with ice cream as most already know—is that eating too much of it makes you fat.

No matter how much you enjoy it, the creamy frozen treat fancied by hundreds of millions around the world is often chock full of sugar and fatty ingredients that makes it so you should only indulge every once in a blue moon.

But what if you didn’t have to worry about the calories and getting fat? Dzarrin Alidin and Nathaniel Loe think that now you don’t—not with their own brand of ice cream at least.

At the tail end of 2018, Dzarrin and Nathaniel—both friends since their school days in Singapore came together to start an ice cream business.

Naming it Calli, the two decided that their product would be markedly different to what most of their competitors pushed out—an ice cream that could be eaten every day without the consequence of getting fat.

“Calli is an ice cream you can indulge in without feeling guilty,” they said. “Since the start of our entrepreneurial journey, we’ve been always on the lookout for ways to help make good nutrition more accessible and convenient.”

Consume And Be Merry

Coming from different professional backgrounds—Dzarrin coming from commodity trading and Nathaniel from architecture, the long-time friends noticed that there was a gap to be filled in the market when it came to guilt-free treat options that people could truly enjoy day-in and day-out.

“We observed that snacks and desserts play a big part in our busy lives—both as a de-stressor and as a treat in-between meals,” they said. “What we found—and many out there share the same sentiment—was that the options out there in the market aren’t great nutritionally, and often leaves us feeling guilty afterwards.”

“Couple that with the rising epidemic of health issues such as diabetes—of which poor diets play a part in, we knew we could do something about it and deliver a ‘better-for-you’ snack or dessert without compromising taste or convenience,” they added.

The duo explained that the name Calli stands for low-calories and low amounts of fat and sugar—the reason for having two Ls in the name.

And additionally, their recipe uses milk and cream as the primary base, but also relies heavily on whey protein to provide an added nutritional benefit.

As for the sweetener, Calli uses the naturally-derived eryhthritol instead of sugar to complement its range of premium ingredients such as Belgian chocolate, natural caramel, and even fresh durian flesh.

Image Credit: Calli

As a result, Calli promotes that its ice cream hovers around 330 to 390 calories per pint (RM29.90) instead of the typical 1,000 calories for equivalent volumes found in regular ice creams.

The Proof Is In The Eating

Currently, the Calli team sell its ice cream via retail distribution points such as Village Grocer in Malaysia, and NTUC in Singapore, and also deliver to most parts of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor at a fee. Dzarrin and Nathaniel explained that for now, these would be the only channels of sales for their products, and have no plans to open a physical store.

Image Credit: Calli

“Reaching out customers online and delivering ice cream directly to our customers is certainly a unique proposition,” they said. “And if we can crack the code, we believe there is great value in our ability to deliver amazing low-calorie ice cream right to our customers’ doorsteps on demand.”

“Our retail partners also have a wide network and our customers who prefer to buy, touch, or feel from a physical store will have this option,” they added.

As of today, the response to Calli’s offerings have been so far very positive, with their online customer base experiencing a 15 percent average weekly increase, with 20 percent of their whole customer base being recorded as repeat buyers.

Image Credit: Call

Dzarrin and Nathaniel believe this positive growth to be the result of their hard work in pursuing customer advocacy and listening to their input.

“We’re here to deliver something of value that we believe our customers want, hence the countless surveys and focus groups we did prior to launch,” they said. “The feedback we have been receiving since then coupled with our returning customers validates that we are moving in the right direction.”

What Comes Next?

The bigger picture for Calli according to Dzarrin and Nathaniel is their objective to become a leading purveyor for convenient, guilt-free, and nutritious snacks and treats.

However in between there and now, they face the challenge of first heightening awareness for their brand and getting people to accept their business model.

“We’re a newly established brand going up against many established players, but our rapid growth rate can be attributed to the fact that we have a clear and unique value proposition that customers actually want,” they said.

“We’re also trying to test and challenge consumer buying behaviours in this segment, whereby we’re trying to convince them to buy ice cream online as opposed to traditional outlets or scoop shops.”

To achieve this, they explained that their approach would be a simple matter of making sure they have excellence in all areas of their operations in order to ensure the buying process is as seamless as can be.

The Calli team hard at work / Image Credit: Calli

“Our focus currently is on getting Calli into as many hands as possible, both online and offline,” they said. “We’re thankful that we have supportive retail partners to see the value in our products.”

For the rest of 2019, the plan for Calli will be to continue drumming up brand awareness while simultaneously perfecting and widening their online delivery channels while possibly introducing more new flavours and product variants.

Feature Image Credit: Calli

 

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