If there is one thing that Karachi seriously lacks in, it’s ice cream parlors. Yes, there are a few of them, some of them really good ones, but that hardly justifies the stats considering the sheer size of this mega city.

Milano, a highly unlikely name for an ice cream parlor, is a new entrant in this category. Location-wise it’s right up there, on the busy thoroughfare of Dhoraji, right alongside Meerath Kabab house. And the fact that there’s only one other ice cream on the entire street, and that also neither upscale nor close to it, adds value to this place.

And yet, the place remains deserted most of the time. This is probably the result of premium pricing while the taste is not that premium. A single scoop costs a steep Rs.40 and a double scoop Rs.60. And most of the special desserts like Sundae and all are well over Rs.100. This may not be much in terms of what the other ice cream parlours are charging, but way too much when you take into account the SEC of the consumers in that particular area, people who are most likely to eat there.

Italian Ice Cream Studio

One tactic they have applied wrong is offering Shawarma outside the parlor. Although a seemingly innocent move., it has the potential to wreak havoc on the brand essence of the shop. It’s a short term move to boost sales, even if the sale is of something which is not the core product of the brand. It sends the wrong signal to the consumer that the ice cream is not selling so they have started selling shawarma as a last resort. What’s more, even that’s not working as much as they would have liked.

Italian Ice Cream Studio
Italian Ice Cream Studio
Milano Ice Cream Parlor
Milano Ice Cream Parlor

As far as the looks go, the place is off to a good start. It’s just the offering that’s not up to the par. An ice cream parlour with average taste and premium pricing could get away with murder if it’s located in a posh locality. Milano doesn’t have that luxury. If it is going to be charging premium price, it has to hit the bull’s eye every time otherwise it’s going to end up like the gazillion ice cream parlors before it.

The size of the scoop is large enough. But it’s not humongous by any stretch of the imagination, and maybe that’s the sort of differentiation that Milano can offer to the consumers of this area, who will definitely be receptive to this change.

Milano Ice Cream Parlour

Milano Ice Cream Parlour
Milano Ice Cream Parlour

Taste-wise, it’s just another ice cream parlor. There’s any variation in the sumptuous factor from the myriad other parlors that are operating, especially those in the North Nazimabad/F.B area district.

One positive thing they have managed to do is offer some innovation in the flavors, which the rest of the bunch don’t offer. For instance there’s the mocha flavor- a combination of chocolate and coffee, there’s the chocolate fantasy- a combination of chocolate, cookies and chocolate sauce. In short they are trying to make it, but the effort isn’t good enough. The chocolate fantasy flavor should have been tried by the employees first before putting it up for sale because it tastes terrible.

Then there’s no marketing activity at all. They haven’t even distributed flyers to let the surrounding areas know of their presence.

Milano has a great opportunity to make it big courtesy the location and lack of competition in the area. However, it needs to do the basic things right along with some sort of marketing effort.