12 Ice Cream Franchises in Australia

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This surely will be one of the most delicious reads of our series on franchises in Australia.

Yep, while the season is turning rather cold, there’s still no wrong time for a scoop, or a blog, of ice cream.

But before we give you some of the best-known ice cream brand names to Aussies, let me give you some numbers which I dug out regarding the ice cream industry in Australia.

It will surely help you see the market potential and make an informed decision on whether you want to venture into this field.

In other words, let not the sweet tooth of yours make the business decision on your behalf. 😉

(FYI, all the figures in this section of the blog have been sourced from global data)

The good news is that Australia has a huge market capital involved in the ice cream business.

In 2021, the Australian ice cream market was valued at $1.9 billion.

While there are artisanal and handcrafted ice cream brands out there that occupy a fair share of the market, a huge chunk of those $1.9 billion was captured by the take-home and bulk ice cream category.

Likewise, while non-dairy ice cream consumption is being introduced in the market, dairy-based ice cream has the highest sales value.

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, and Darwin are the leading cities in terms of the volume of ice cream product consumption.

With these key figures in mind, let us present the top 12 ice cream franchises in Australia.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery

Cold Rock Ice Creamery - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

1996

Headquarters 

Melbourne, Australia 

Franchising Units

120

Franchising Costs

$110,000 and upward (Source: Commercial Real Estate

Cold Rock Ice Creamery is a quintessential Australian ice cream parlour chain.

The brand gained the trust of its customers through two and half decades of quality service.

The parlour was launched in Australia in 1996 and currently has a 120-plus strong network of franchises throughout the country. (Source: Wikipedia)

Cold Rock sells its ice cream as cups, cones, loaded shakes, or cakes. It offers its customers over 30,000 combos to choose from. (Source: Official Website)

The ice cream products are made from milk sourced from within Australia, and the restaurant claim to be the most significant 100% Australian-owned and operated ice cream and treat business.

Aqua S

Aqua S - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2015

Headquarters 

Sydney, Australia 

Franchising Units

4

Franchising Costs

Undisclosed

With an intention to Introduce the soft serve in Australia, Aqua S started its journey from Sydney in 2015.
The soft-serve is a subtle version of traditional ice cream.
It is a frozen dessert with air introduced into the mix, making it creamier, fluffier, lighter and even healthier (due to low milk fat) than regular ice cream.
And if that innovation in ice cream was not enough, the signature flavour of their ice cream is sea salt, which produces a sweet and salty aqua blue colour ice cream dessert.
The first Aqua S store opened on George Street in Sydney. In 7 years since its opening, the ice cream brand has opened four stores in Australia and has flown out of the continent to open stores in the US, Singapore, China and Cambodia.
The company boasts a business model which is built around four corner points – franchisees, suppliers, employees, and customers.
This unique business model emphasising a “people-centric” approach makes it an ideal franchising model to own.
Aqua S offers wide-ranging support, including accessing the right location for your ice cream parlour, helping to launch a digital media presence, training for new ice cream flavours (regularly introduced), and further assistance for general business operations.
(Source: Aqua S Official Website, Vettedbiz, Wikipedia)

St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert

St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2005

Headquarters 

Adelaide, South Australia

Franchising Units

9

Franchising Costs

$350,000 to $550,000

(Source: Franchise Business)

The next brand on the list is a combination of fine dining and premium ice cream. A match made in heaven!
The funny thing is that store’s idea had something similar to inspire its creation.

Yes! A romantic date in Paris is what led to the opening of this European-inspired hand-crafted jazzesque version of an ice cream parlour. (Source: Official Website)

Opened in 2005 in Adelaide, Australia, St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert is not your average ice cream parlour. Serving classic European desserts, the brand has attracted a niche following of its own among the fine residents of Sydney.

Apart from expanding its presence in South Australia, the brand has gone outside the country to the Philippines to work its magic.

As you would expect, St Louis also caters for the health-conscious by producing dairy-free sorbets that are 100% fat-free yet 100% delicious.

The European flavour and ambience of the store are made further attractive by generous working hours (from breakfast till late at night), smoking-free areas, delivery options, outdoor dining and bar experiences. (Sources: Franchise Business, CorporateKeys, Official Website)

Gelatissimo

Gelatissimo - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2002

Headquarters 

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 

Franchising Units

40+

Franchising Costs

$300,000 – $400,000 (excluding GST)

(Source: Official Website)

The next one on the list is a Multi-award winner and a famous Australian ice cream brand with a global presence.

Gelatissimo opened its first store in Sydney in 2002, soon bringing in enough customers to form a long queue outside its doors.

Their gelato is an artisan’s work, made with only the best ingredients daily in their store. The brand advertises as more inclusive by providing a range of vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free gelato.

Beyond Australia, Gelatissimo has stores in China, the Philippines, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, India, and the US. (Source: Official Website)

For its prospective franchisees, the brand offers national-level marketing campaigns, smooth onboarding and launch training, exciting new flavours, and dedicated area manager support from experienced food retailers and business managers.

With such USPs, Gelatissimo might just be the one franchise business you have been looking for!

Trampoline Gelato

Trampoline Gelato - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2004

Headquarters 

Brunswick St Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia 

Franchising Units

9+

Franchising Costs

Undisclosed

Putting together this list has been more fun than I imagined.

You can guess why am I talking about fun by the name of the next ice cream franchise. Yes, it is Trampoline Gelato.

Why Trampoline, you ask? Well, the brand sees a strong connection between the two.

Quoting from their official website, “Trampolines and Gelato are soul mates! For the free-spirited, trampolines evoke memories of summer and backyards; happy times falling about laughing. Life’s simple pleasures make us happiest and Trampoline delivers these through real quality, served fresh with a grin.” (Source: Official Website)

Opened in 2004, Trampoline Gelato was a sequel to Burra Foods, a brainchild of two brothers.

With hands-on experience in dairy products, the brothers needed a retail outlet to showcase their dairy products direct to the customer.

The brother went at it with the most fun, funky take on the Italian gelato they could think of! The result was rather contemporary and pleasantly different products than the market had ever seen.

The brand boasts 100% Australian ownership. Franchised Food Company (FFCo) overtook the brand from its original owners in 2013 and continued building on its spectacular success.

For franchisees, the company needs no prior experience in the business and values willingness to participate in their operating system as well as the desire to provide quality products with a people-friendly approach. (Source: Commercial Realestate)

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2004

Headquarters 

Burlington, Vermont, USA

Franchising Units

30+ (Australia & New Zealand)

Franchising Costs

$250,000 and $450,000 (Source: Official Website)

The first US-based global brand to make our list is the famous Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings Inc.

The brand rose from a humble beginning in Burlington, Vermont, USA in 1978. It was a joint venture of sorts by two childhood friends, Ben Cohen, and Jerry Greenfield.

But today, Ben & Jerry’s has a global presence and is a multi-national brand.

What’s the secret to their success, you might wonder?
A US$5 correspondence course in ice cream making!

Not-kidding at all! They did take the course from Penn State before launching their store with a US$12,000 investment amount. (Source: Official Website)

Talking of courses on achieving success in your startup, we at LessonsAtStartup offer a brilliant course on entrepreneurship free of cost. Leave your email with us on the prompt, and you’ll get it emailed to your inbox free of cost. You can also seek insights on franchise selection through the same channel.

Subtlety in taste not being their strong suit, Ben decided that lumps of delicious fruit, brownie, nuts, and chunks of nuts were the way to go about giving their customers a mouthful of taste.

Their culinary take worked like a charm, and the same texture and heavy chunks of fruits and nuts are their ice cream’s hallmark to date.

Ben & Jerry’s set foot in Australia in 2010 and has opened more than 30 stores in Australia and New Zealand over the past decade.

The brand constantly seeks reliable and passionate franchisees to open their scoop shops under Ben & Jerry’s umbrella and help them expand their presence.
(Sources: Ben&Jerry’s, Wikipedia)

Gelare Ice Cream

Gelare Ice Cream - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

1987

Headquarters 

Perth, Western Australia

Franchising Units

30 

Franchising Costs

Undisclosed

Going after the roots of the frozen dessert we call ice cream, the next franchise operator on the list named their brand in Italian.
Gelare in Italian means “to freeze” or to “congeal”.

The attention to naming detail is enough to hint at the brand’s commitment to the product they offer for their customers.
Taking their creativity to the next level, the version of gelato created by Gelare has a uniquely Australian character that separates it from Italian, and even American, ice creams.

It is thicker and creamier than the Italian Gelato and much more intense in flavour than the American version.

The thicker texture is achieved by avoiding a mixture of air in the ice cream.

The brand jealously advertised this fact against other ice cream parlours, as a way of saying, “we don’t take away 50% of the ice cream by just adding air into it.”

For its franchisees, the brand offers three USPs

  • No wastage – because the baked fresh to order with no kitchen or chef required
  • 30 years of proven and trusted track record
  • Simplified operations with central product manufacturing

(Source: Official Website, LinkedIn Profile)

Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

1945

Headquarters 

Canton, Massachusetts, USA

Franchising Units

86

Franchising Costs

$250,000+ (Source: Official Website)

Next on the list is a well-known multi-national ice cream brand Baskin-Robbins which originated in the state of Massachusetts, USA in 1945.

Two enthusiasts founded the brand that went on to create more than 1000 ice cream flavours in its distinguished history of becoming a multi-national ice cream brand. (
Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream shops and has been named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the US by Entrepreneur Magazine. (Source: Official Website)

The brand has franchises spread over 50+ countries and more than 8,000 branches.

Their flavour range is based on a famous “31 flavours” slogan, which basically says that you could visit their shop every day of the month and get a new flavour every day. (Source: Wikipedia)

For its prospective franchisees, the brand demands a hard-working, dedicated, and community-oriented approach and a living touch with your ‘ice cream side’ to qualify for owning its franchise. (Source: Official Website)

If owning a franchise of one of the largest ice cream brands was on your bucket list, I think this might be your brand!

C9 Chocolate & Gelato

C9 Chocolate & Gelato - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2014

Headquarters 

New Town, NSW, Australia

Franchising Units

8

Franchising Costs

$250,000 – $450,000 approximately (Source: Official Website)

C9 Chocolate & Gelato is the name of all things gelato under one roof!

From gelato desserts to pastries to cakes and whatnot, C9 has a way of wooing its sweet-tooth customers like no other.

Born in 2014 in NSW, C9 is fast spreading across Australia due to its quality products and immaculate presentation.

Even the brand’s website is a treat to visit. 🙂

C9 produces premium in-house Italian gelato, not just your average gelato plucked onto a waffle cone, but a much more refined and chef-inspired take on frozen dessert.

Their desserts are made with real ingredients, supported by a low-cost supply chain model.

For their franchisees, the brand offers a high-profit margin (one of the highest in the market), zero commission and no middlemen, no requirement for skilled staff, and a simple operation to run the franchise. (Source: Official Website)

If a low-stress and smooth-going ice cream franchise were on your cards, this might be your opportunity knocking!

Wendy's Milk Bar

Wendy's Milk Bar - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

1979

Headquarters 

Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia

Franchising Units

200+

Franchising Costs

$100,000 – $260,000 approximately (Source: Franchise Small)  

Started by two friends, Geoff Davis and Phil Rogers, in a South Australian shopping center, the legend says that the initial souring demand and the resultant workload on their machines resulted in the blowing away of the mains power supply. (Source: Official Website)

Well, blown mains or not, the brand is rocking the Australian ice cream market with its more than 200 stores and kiosks nationwide.

Wendy’s Milk Bar is the quintessential Australian name in the ice cream franchises, owned by parent company Supatreats, Australia.

The company had launched as Wendy’s Supa Sundaes but was rebranded to the current name, “Wendy’s Milk Bar” making itself a milk bar chain.

For franchisees, the brand offers training and development, marketing and customer service, IT-based POS, merchandise and online resources, and assistance during store development, operations, and management. (Source: Official Website)

If you were looking for one of the most trusted Australian-owned ice cream brands, Wendy’s Milk Bar deserves your keen eyes for further exploration.

Rivareno Gelato

Rivareno Gelato - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2005

Headquarters 

Milan, Italy 

Franchising Units

4

Franchising Costs

Undisclosed

Imagine a joint business venture by multiple friends with wide-ranging backgrounds achieving impressive success!

Rivareno Gelato is the name of such a unique success story.

Jointly launched by a car company executive, a BBC journalist, a lawyer, and a famous Bologna gelato-maker in 2005 in Milan, Italy. (Source: Rivareno Italy)

It came to Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia, eight years ago and is a unique brand with authentic Italian roots. (Source: Official Website)

Coming from the home of ice cream, Rivareno Gelato uses the traditional method of storing their gelato in ‘pozzetti’ – a stainless steel cylindrical container deep inside the counter, covered with a lid.

This storage technique ensures the preservation of the real taste of gelato by slowing down the oxidising process that begins soon after the gelato comes out of the machine.

Not only this, but this method of storing gelato maintains a comparatively warmer yet consistent temperature, giving the gelato its authentic Italian flavour.

For its franchisees, the brand offers a detailed roadmap right from applying for the franchise to the selection of the site and the financing and operational details.

If owning an authentic Italian gelato franchise is your goal, you need not look any further!

Tutti Fruitti Frozen Yogurt

Tutti Fruitti Frozen Yogurt - Ice Cream Franchise in Australia

Founded in 

2008

Headquarters 

Fullerton, California, USA

Franchising Units

6

Franchising Costs

$100,000 to $150,000 approximately (Source: Franchise Business)

To culminate the list, we have a frozen yoghurt brand from the USA, that made its name on a global scale.

Founded in 2008, Tutti Fruitti introduced two things in the frozen desserts market: healthy frozen yoghurt and a self-serving retail model.

The self-service was a USP of Tutti Fruit which gave the brand instant success and allowed it to go beyond the US borders within no time.

The brand now has a footprint in 25 countries, with 700 stores, and serves over 80 flavours.

Tutti Fruiti began its franchising operatuon in Australia in 2011. Since then it has opened 6 stores and continues to seek more franchise partners.

For its franchisees, the brand offers significant potential for customer reach as its products are 98% fat-free, completely gelatin free, high in calcium and loaded with probiotics.

In terms of operational support, Tutti Fruitti offers strong business fundamentals that resulted in its rapid-fire success and assistance in its store operations, designing, marketing, and property sourcing.

While the progress of the brand has been fairly slow in Australia as compared to its global spread, the brand still has a lot of potential considering the rise of awareness regarding the consumption of a healthy diet.
(Source: Tutti Fruitti, Wikipedia, Franchise Business)


This is the end of our rather mouth-watering list of franchises.
Let’s go, and grab some gelato 😉

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