Ais kepal is a traditional dessert that has been around in Malaysia for decades
Ais kepal is made of finely grated ice packed into a ball and is traditionally drizzled with syrup. The icy treat is usually eaten using just the fingers or hands.
In recent years, new spins of ais kepal topped with various ingredients have been introduced by local vendors as there has been renewed interest on ais kepal, elevating its status as a trendy food.
One of the best-selling offerings in the past few months is 'Ais Kepal MILO' where the ice ball is coated with thick, creamy MILO. It is believed that Ais Kepal MILO was popularised by a couple from Kuala Kangsar.
The popularity of the trendy dessert has gone beyond Malaysian shores, spreading regionally to countries such as Indonesia.
In fact, an Indonesia entrepreneur was in Malaysia to learn the art of making Ais Kepal MILO.
A Bloomberg report published on Monday, 16 July, revealed that Emanuel Agung, who has more than three years experience in the culinary business, found great success by getting into the Ais Kepal MILO craze.
It was reported that Agung jumped on the current trend and opened his first 'Es Kepal MILO Viral' outlet in Jakarta in March, after learning how to make it in Malaysia.
In just a matter of months, Agung's 'Es Kepal MILO Viral' business expanded rapidly, opening more than 100 outlets in several cities in Indonesia.
Today, a total of 30,000 cups of Ais Kepal MILO are sold in a day across all the 'Es Kepal Milo Viral' outlets
It was learned that Agung could sell a cup of Ais Kepal MILO for up to IDR20,000 (about RM5.60) each to his customer base, which is mostly made up of millennials aged between 14 to 26.
At this rate, it means that the 34-year-old's business is making about RM168,000 in revenue every day.
According to Agung, demand for Ais Kepal MILO is "incredibly high". It was reported that Agung buys one tonne of MILO a day in order to ensure that there is enough supplies for his 150 'Es Kepal MILO Viral' stalls.
"Nestle (producer of MILO) was overwhelmed with our orders in the first few weeks of sales, but now supply is stable," he was quoted as saying.
It was pointed out that the overwhelming demand for Ais Kepal MILO could even potentially boost the chocolate confectionery sales in Indonesia
The Bloomberg report highlights Indonesia's issue as Asia's biggest cocoa grower that is struggling low chocolate consumption, stating that the viral Ais Kepal MILO could potentially fill the gap.
Agung is just one of the few enterprising individuals in Indonesia who have benefitted from the Ais Kepal MILO phenomenon. Even so, the current taste of success he has been enjoying has far exceeded his own expectations.
"It's beyond my expectation. People from low to middle and higher class in cars were lining up in my outlets," he told Bloomberg.