A real scoop!
Irish people have the second highest ice cream consumption in Europe (behind Sweden), but ice cream producers are certainly not taking the nation’s custom for granted. Innovation within both the impulse and take-home segments continues to flourish, as amply demonstrated across the next eight pages, writes Gillian Hamill
19 April 2018 | 0
In positive news for the ice cream sector, value sales of ice cream and frozen desserts increased by 2% to reach €166 million in 2017. A report entitled ‘Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in Ireland’ published by Euromonitor Ireland last year showed ice cream saw 1% volume growth in 2017 due to the willingness of Irish consumers to indulge, particularly when the weather is pleasant. Frozen desserts saw 6% value growth in 2017, albeit from a low base.
Euromonitor Ireland predicts the ice cream and frozen desserts segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1% at constant 2017 prices over the forecast period to 2021, reaching €177 million.
Caroline Martin, head of marketing, Dale Farm
Q: Dale Farm prides itself on being a co-op owned by 1,300+ dairy farmers. In what way does this approach benefit the business?
A: Being the UK’s largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative means Dale Farm is truly connected to the needs of the farming sector. It also guarantees to the consumer that our dairy products are made with the finest, freshest, quality assured milk. Our business model gives Dale Farm a long-term, strategic vision for the future – to protect and support our farmers as well as build great brands.
Q: Dale Farm is a sponsor of the NI Fitness Show in Belfast. Tell us about the benefits of this partnership?
A: Dale Farm is delighted to team-up with the NI Fitness Show as title sponsor of its first ever exhibition in Ireland. We place a huge amount of importance on the wellbeing of consumers and are passionate about encouraging healthy lifestyles. For that reason, we are committed to supporting sports and fitness initiatives at all levels – from grassroots to elite.
In recent years, we took that commitment a step further, moving into the sports nutrition space and launching our fresh protein milk, along with a portfolio of low sugar, high protein yogurts and quark.
Our goal has been to take protein ‘out of the gym’ and onto the supermarket shelf – making healthy, convenient, high protein dairy products available for everyone. The NI Fitness Show will be a prime platform for us to showcase our range to an engaged audience, who seek out this type of product. The event is being actively promoted across Ireland and we hope to see a large portion of visitors coming to Belfast from ROI for the experience.
Q: Where can a traditionally indulgent product like ice cream benefit a balanced diet?
A: Dale Farm believes in offering the consumer a wide variety of choices as well as educating about the importance of a balanced lifestyle – as demonstrated through our commitment to health-focused initiatives and in particular our work with young people and sport.
Ice cream, enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle, continues to be an enjoyable treat for consumers of all ages in Ireland.
Q: Several new ice cream brands have emerged on the market in recent months, many of them higher in protein with perceived health benefits. What NPD is afoot in Dale Farm to compete with these newcomers?
A: At the core of our business is innovation – identifying and responding to emerging consumer trends. In recent years, Dale Farm has produced a range of high protein, low fat products to meet the growing demand for this type of product.
Whilst our ice cream offering does not currently include a high protein product we have been focused on developing a broad suite of products that appeal to the Irish consumer, ranging from refreshing, lighter choices to more indulgent treats, within a variety of pack sizes and formats.
Our Mullins Ice Cream, made with natural, locally sourced milk and cream, is also growing across the island of Ireland, through our increased retail presence and partnership with Tayto Park in County Meath.
New products for 2018 include our zesty new Tropical Duet, our Fruit Blast ice lollies and Rapture Mini 8 pack, a smaller version of our popular Rapture Ice Cream range.
Q: The spring and summer months are traditionally when ice cream is in most demand; what marketing and PR opportunities are planned for Dale Farm in 2018?
A: We have invested significantly in our Dale Farm Ice Cream marketing strategy for 2018 to raise brand awareness across Ireland, ultimately driving sales for our retail partners.
Dale Farm Ice Cream will be setting off on the road across Ireland this spring/summer, surprising and delighting consumers with a major sampling and consumer engagement programme at key events and locations.
With a high visibility, outdoor advertising campaign at key sites across Ireland, supported at store level by engaging POS material, the 2018 ice cream season will be key for the growth of Dale Farm Ice Cream across the island of Ireland.
Mullins Ice Cream uses the best local ingredients, put together with care and craftsmanship to make truly exceptional ice cream. With a comprehensive and ever-changing flavour range along with the company’s expertise and experience, Mullins Ice Cream is a natural choice for retailers and their ice cream loving customers. To find out more about how Mullins Ice Cream can help your business scoop up sales, contact Kevin McLoughlin on 08723 91257, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mullins-icecream.com.
A portfolio to be proud of
Now that the ice cream season is finally here, 2018 promises to be a massive year for category growth lead by Unilever which has an impressive programme, including the launch of brand new Breyers Delights, fantastic innovation such as Magnum Praline, HB Mini Milk, Split and Calippo Combo, while also celebrating Ben & Jerry’s 40th birthday.
Unilever is the number one ice cream player across impulse and take-home ice cream, with Ireland’s favourite ice cream brands across each segment of the market.
Ireland’s number one ice cream brand
Magnum is Ireland’s favourite ice cream brand*, with 2017 proving a great year for the brand with the launch of many new Magnum flavours and formats. These successfully grew Magnum’s total brand market share. For 2018, Magnum will be taking the core seriously and focusing on the expertly crafted indulgence that goes into each and every Magnum. The brand’s campaign will hero the key credentials of each Magnum; sustainably grown cocoa that gives the synonymous Magnum cracking chocolate and tasty ice cream made with Madagascan vanilla.
Magnum 2018 is backed by a massive marketing investment that spans across all consumer touchpoints, across media, social platforms, influencer marketing, in-store activation and event marketing. The Magnum 2018 campaign will showcase the new and insatiable Magnum Praliné. Caramelized nuts in chocolate is a growing global trend and a huge opportunity for Magnum. The new Magnum Praliné is Chocolate and hazelnut flavour ice cream coated with Belgian milk chocolate and caramelised hazelnut pieces. Magnum Praliné will be available in a 440ml tub, 3x in-home multipack, mini 6x multipack and impulse OOH.
Also due to the success of Magnum and fruit pairings, the brand has an exclusive tub flavour, with the Dark Chocolate and Raspberry tub; the perfect balance of fresh raspberry taste and indulgent dark chocolate.
*(Source: The Nielsen Company IH IC Scantrack (ex PL) MAT 5 Nov 2017, OOH IC Scantrack MAT Sept/ Oct 2017)
Time to celebrate
Ben & Jerry’s is Ireland’s number one ice cream in the luxury pot segment and has seen two years of incredible double digit growth. The brand is confident 2018 will be even bigger and better with impressive innovation that is backed by a fully immersive marketing campaign.
2018 is Ben & Jerry’s 40th birthday and in true Ben & Jerry’s style, the company wants to share it with all of its fans. There will be a full innovative marketing campaign to excite and delight the Irish Ben & Jerry’s consumers through media, social media marketing, event marketing and in-store activation. To celebrate the 40th birthday, Ben and Jerry’s has put all the elements of a birthday cake into an incredible Ben & Jerry’s Birthday Cake flavoured ice cream, it’s vanilla cake batter ice cream with pink frosting, strawberry swirls and cake pieces.
But that’s not all, it wouldn’t be Ben & Jerry’s without a plethora of new and delicious flavours. Building on the success of the impressive Ben and Jerry’s snacking portfolio, the company will be introducing a trendy Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Wich. To complement the premium topped range, it is introducing the perfect mix of sweet and salty, the incredible Topped Pretzel Pooloza, vanilla malt ice cream with a chocolatey hazelnut swirl, chocolatey covered pretzel chunks, chocolatey chunks, and chocolatey topping. And if that wasn’t enough, Ben and Jerry’s is introducing two scrumptious new flavours into its scooping portfolio; Birthday Cake and Home Sweet Honeycomb.
Raising the bar
Breyers, the number one premium ice cream brand in the USA*, has launched in Ireland with a new range of tasty ice creams. Consumers are crying out for a product like Breyers; they are looking for low fat/low sugar options. In a recent Mintel report, 60% of Irish consumers are interested in ‘healthier versions of my favourite ice cream’ e.g low fat/ low sugar). And without being prompted, 41% of Irish consumers say they are interested in ice creams/desserts with added protein.
Available now, Breyers has been developed to complement changing consumer health and wellbeing needs. The range has the creamy taste that you’d expect from an ice cream, all with 350 calories or fewer per tub, while it is high in protein and lower in sugar**.
Set to be a firm favourite in freezers across Ireland, it is available in four flavours:
- Cookies & Cream (350 calories per tub)
- Creamy Chocolate (310 calories per tub)
- Smooth Vanilla (290 calories per tub)
- Mint Chip (340 calories per tub)
These four flavours will be supported by a huge advertising investment across social media, influencer marketing, search, in-store activation, event marketing and targeted OOH advertising, and is set to drive incremental ice cream sales.
Breyers is available in a 500ml tub format with black packaging which allows the colourful motifs for each variant to stand out on-shelf, clearly indicating the exciting flavours inside.
The total calories per portion and the total calories per tub are clearly communicated on the front of the pack along with a stand out flash highlighting ‘high protein’. Health conscious consumers can still limit their calorie intake whilst also treating themselves and not compromising on taste as Breyers is made using a purified extract of the Stevia Rebaudiana leaf.
*(Source: Mintel, Ice Cream and Desserts Report October 2017)
Epitome of simplistic sophistication
Carte D’Or is the number one premium dessert brand in Ireland and is in significant growth, growing ahead of the market year-on-year. 2018 for Carte D’Or is about reinforcing its delightful French heritage and ensuring the allure of chefmanship really runs through the brand across the dessert portfolio and through the scooping experiences channel.
2018 will see the introduction of the new brand identity; you will see the ‘Simplistic Sophistication’ through the new brand logo and newly inspired product packaging
In 2018, the brand is also introducing two new flavours into its scooping portfolio, the much anticipated Carte D’Or Honeycomb and the luxurious Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The brand states these additions, supported by exciting activation plans, will be instrumental in delighting its customers in 2018 and beyond.
*(Source: The Nielsen Company IH IC Scantrack (Ex PL) MAT 5 Nov 2017)
Great innovation and major launches
Ireland’s love of ice cream continues to grow and just like the category, Ireland’s iconic and favourite ice cream dessert brand HB is extending its brands yet again, to deliver to consumer needs.
The return of a legend
HB received several heart felt emails, handwritten letters and social media messages asking to bring back one of its legend products, and the company listened! The ice cream, formally known as Super Split, but which now simply answers to Split, is available in a multipack format.
Tapping into the nostalgia of consumers’ childhood summers in Ireland, this 65kcal snack is a perfect ice cream to indulge in over the summer months.
Gluten and dairy-free choice
Having listened to the growing consumer demands for vegan ice cream, Cornetto is launching its first ever dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream cone. The tasty vegan friendly cone is lined with chocolate, filled with creamy soya-based ice cream, topped with nuts and even more chocolate than the classic cone.
Following the success of Cornetto Classico, which is the number one SKU in filled cones for both impulse and take home ice cream, this guilt-free cone is available in a multipack format.
Time for a snack!
Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, 4 O’Clock is a hunger-filling sandwich; the perfect snack to satisfy afternoon hunger cravings.
Made of two dark cocoa cookies enclosing a generous wedge of vanilla flavoured ice cream, this new format ice cream is expected to drive more people to the ice cream category. This disruptive pack is available in multipack format now.
Responsibly made for kids
Calippo Cola & Vanilla launched in the last two years and has proven to be a popular flavour, now ranking at number 13 in impulse and growing at +29% year-on-year. The four-pack was launched in 2017 and it was the best-selling new product in that year.
This year Calippo is launching a new flavour, Strawberry and Vanilla. Made with real milk and fruit, this exclusive flavour in the impulse sector meets the Unilever ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ commitment. It therefore contains no more than 110kcal per serving, no more than 3g saturated fat per serving and no more than 20g of added sugar per 100g.
Another new product, that falls under Unilever’s ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ initiative, is Mini Milks. Rich in calcium and made with real milk, this new product comes in three flavours – Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate. Available both in multipack and in the impulse sector, this 35ml ice cream is an ideal snack for younger customers.
Q&A with…Paul Kelly, head of marketing, HB, Unilever
Q: What are the current trends driving growth for the impulse ice cream category?
A: The growth of on-the-go snacking and indulgent treats, is a huge opportunity for impulse ice cream, with 40% of consumers now snacking more often on a daily basis. Impulse ice cream is one of the most expandable consumption categories in grocery and so this represents a massive potential for the category once the best mix of range, and strong visibility of the ice cream offering are in place.
We aim to lead this for the impulse ice cream category in a number of ways, for example, through extending our very successful Ben & Jerrys ‘Wich’ Cookie & Ice Cream innovation with the launch of Peanut Butter Cup Wich. In addition, we are planning a massive marketing campaign, with super new product offerings backing the continued growth of Magnum as the ultimate indulgent treat.
Consumer demand for healthier on-the-go treats is also seeing double digit growth and, and to meet this need, we are continuing to expand our ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ ranges with fantastic NPD such as HB Mini Milk, and Calippo Combo. Also for those looking for a refreshing, great tasting ice cream with lower calories, we will be putting significant investment behind our Solero brand.
Visibility and position of the ice cream cabinet in-store, play a key role in growing sales, and we are investing heavily in a wider range of new premium looking smart energy cabinets.
Q: HB is Ireland’s iconic ice cream brand, is it still as popular as ever, and what are your plans for 2018?
A: We are very privileged to have the fantastic HB legends of the ice cream category, and yes, 50 years on since many of them were first launched, they continue to be the most loved ice creams in Ireland. HB Iceberger is by far the nation’s favourite, with Brunch, Maxi Twist, Choc Ice, Twister, and Cornetto King Cone and Cornetto Classic all in the top 10 selling impulse ice cream brands in Ireland.
We have ambitious plans to bring our HB brand to life across the summer, encouraging more people to visit the HB cabinet in-store and have a super experience with our ice creams – watch this space.
Q: What was the rationale for the launch of Breyers Delights, and what plans are in place to build the brand?
A: It is exciting times, as we launch Breyers Delights, a new ice cream brand in Ireland. The rationale for the new launch is that Breyers Delights answers Irish consumers’ desires. 84% of Irish consumers say they are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, while 92% of Irish consumers have good intentions when it comes to watching what they eat. Specifically for ice cream, 60% of Irish consumers interested in healthier versions of ice cream eg low fat/sugar and 41% of Irish consumers are interested in ice creams/desserts with added protein.
Breyers, launched initially with four flavours in a 500ml pot, contains as little as between 290-350 calories per tub and up to 20 grams of protein. So health conscious consumers can still limit their calorie intake whilst also treating themselves and not compromising on taste as Breyers is made using a purified extract of the Stevia Rebaudiana leaf. We have an exciting marketing campaign, backed with significant investment to drive awareness and trial especially amongst those healthier lifestyle lovers.
Our long term plan is for Breyers to lead the development and growth of the healthier lifestyle ice cream category. To achieve this, we are already creating exciting new flavours and formats in our Breyers innovation pipeline, which will soon be ready for launch – watch this space.
Q: 2018 marks 40 years since Ben & Jerry’s was launched, and the brand has now grown into one of the world’s most loved ice creams. What plans are afoot to mark this milestone for the brand?
A: Yes 40 years ago in 1978, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, two childhood friends from New York, opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. In 1979, they marked their anniversary by holding the first-ever free cone day, and now this is an international annual celebration at every Ben & Jerry’s store.
However given that this birthday is extra special, we have planned bigger birthday celebrations. These start with the launch of a special Ben & Jerrys Birthday Cake ice cream, because everyone gets a cake on their birthday! We will bring the celebrations to life across the year through an innovative and experiential campaign so we can party with our Ben & Jerry’s fans.
New options all wrapped up
Mars Ireland has expanded its range of handheld single-serve ice creams with the introduction of the M&M’s Chocolate and Peanut Ice Creams.
There is a growing appetite in the market for wrapped handheld ice creams. Figures provided by the Mars suggest the segment is worth over €200 million. M&M’s Chocolate and Peanut Ice Creams directly tap into this trend, offering consumers a delicious twist on the world’s number one confectionery brand.
M&Ms Chocolate Ice Cream features delicious chocolate ice cream surrounded by a crunchy chocolate layer with M&Ms pieces and the M&M’s Peanut Ice Cream includes a blend of peanut ice cream, M&M’s peanut pieces and a crunchy chocolate layer.
“With wrapped handheld ice creams leading the market, we are extremely excited to introduce another iconic brand to our singles range,” said Aoife O’Hanlon, brand manager for Mars Ice Creams.
“The M&M’s Ice Cream joins consumer favourites, Mars, Snickers, Galaxy and Maltesers in the impulse freezer this year,” she added, “and we are confident it will soon become a sought after family favourite.”
M&M’s Ice Cream range will be available from ice cream distributor Dale Farm, with a suggested retail price of €1.95.
Whipped ice cream will yield fantastic profit margins up to 80%, making it the highest profit generator in any retail business. A great hit with customers young and old, whipped ice cream cones, desserts, sundaes, tubs, freshly made milkshakes and ice cream Blizz-A-Bar Milkshakes (combined with your favourite chocolate bars) provide fantastic, fun year-round sales. Martin Food Equipment can supply the complete package.
Small in size, big in profit, a Carpigiani soft ice cream machine and Angelito ice cream are easy to integrate into any retail convenience store, service station or business and provide maximum impact.
The company says there’s never been a better time to whip up fresh profit with soft ice cream. Exclusive to Martin Food Equipment, Blizz is designed to maximise soft ice cream profits.
Blizz combines traditional favourites, like Angelito soft ice cream cones, with funky new treats such as Blizz soft ice cream desserts, Blizz milkshakes, Blizz-A-Bar.
Martin Food Equipment’s 2,200 successful soft ice cream machine customers know Carpigiani ice cream equipment is highly cost effective, returning their investment quickly. Blizz desserts using Angelito ice cream attract new customers and have been a great source of increased sales and profits.
Gelato equipment and full fit-out gelateria
Mouth-watering authentic ’Italian Style’ artisan gelato is made easy by Martin Food Equipment with its range of gelato equipment. Gelato produced in the Carpigiani range of ice cream making equipment and beautifully presented in the eye-catching IFI display cases, makes it easier than ever for retailers to introduce a complete gelato solution to their business.
Martin Food Equipment works closely with Italian Gelato Masters Carpigiani to stay at the forefront of gelato innovation. The company supplies options from a ‘full fit-out gelateria’ to an individual piece of equipment.
Every year, Martin Food Equipment runs a wide range of gelato workshops to ensure its customers are kept up-to-date with all the latest in gelato recipes, ingredients, equipment and solutions.
Martin Food Equipment provides customers with:
- Expert advice on how to successfully build a retail ice cream business
- On-site staff training to ensure maximum hygiene and great portion control
- Effective point-of-sale for maximum customer impact to help drive sales
- Low cost finance packages
- Great Carpigiani ice cream machinetrade-in and re-sale values when your business is ready for the next stage
- A complete range of authentic Italian gelato ingredients
- Strong after-sales service with a nationwide team of factory trained engineers
Two new additions build on success
Froneri, the second-largest ice cream supplier in Ireland, is set to drive further growth in the ice lolly category with two new additions to its successful Nestle Rowntree’s range.
Froneri already plays an important role in the ice lolly sector thanks to its wide-ranging portfolio of ice lollies. The company is now aiming to strengthen its participation in the category by driving further trial and excitement in the frozen aisle.
The two new lollies from Froneri have all been designed to be fun products with a strong fruit flavouring that will appeal to people of all ages.
One of these two new additions, the Nestle Rowntree’s Watermelon lolly is shaped like a watermelon slice and looks and tastes just like the on-trend fruit itself. With a high juice content and chocolate ‘seeds’, the lolly is visually appealing, tasty and is designed to be refreshing in both summer and winter.
With the new Nestle Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille Push-Up, Rowntree’s has created a new Fruit Pastille Push-up ice lolly that offers an instant hit of juicy refreshment.
Consumers can enjoy a burst of cooling fruit juice, with an ice lolly that comes in a range of tasty fruity flavours for maximum enjoyment. The new lollies come in a multipack of three great-tasting flavours: Sweet Strawberry, tangy Tropical or juicy Blackcurrant. They will also be available to buy as singles in Blackcurrant and Orange.
“Our lollies have enjoyed enormous success but we’re continually looking for new ways to create excitement in the frozen aisle and attract even more shoppers,” said Shane Guest, sales & marketing manager for Froneri Ireland. “We focus on ensuring that all of our lollies have strong fruit flavours and create a sense of fun, so they can be enjoyed by people of any age.
“The market for lollies has changed over the last few years, we’ve seen that they’re experiencing organic growth in both summer and winter,” he added. “We’ve done a lot of work to examine when and why people are eating ice lollies and have seen that consumers are choosing ice lollies because they’re seen as more of a permissible treat for younger members of the family. They also work well at home for families because they’re convenient and easy to share out. Lollies have been a great success story for us and can be for retailers who need to ensure they’re stocking them throughout the year and take advantage of the many eating occasions they play into.”
In order to support the continued growth of the Nestle Rowntree’s ice lolly portfolio, Froneri is investing in Rowntree’s branded freezers and branded POS to drive visibility of the range, both in and out of store.
Going for gold
The iconic golden Cadbury Crunchie chocolate bar is now available as a tub of mouth-watering ice cream.
Each tub of Cadbury Crunchie ice cream is filled with honeycomb ice cream, with a thick swirl of Cadbury chocolate chunks and honeycomb pieces.
According to the brand, a scoop of this delightful golden ice cream features an explosion of flavours that will set taste buds tingling and conjure up memories of the famous chocolate bar that’s been enjoyed by people in Ireland for more than 80 years.
Consumers can purchase the Cadbury Crunchie ice cream tub from all major supermarkets for RRP €4 (480ml).
This new ice cream will be joining Cadbury Crunchie Blast ice cream sticks in supermarket freezers nationwide, which feature Cadbury Crunchie ice cream coated with Cadbury Milk Chocolate and pieces of crackling popping candy.
Luxury flavours in perfect harmony
“An exquisite example of premium, luxury flavours that work in perfect harmony.”
So said the Great Taste Awards judges of Oh! Naturelle’s Raspberry Rose dairy-free ice cream which scooped not one, not two, but three coveted Gold Stars in 2016.
Promoted as a healthier alternative to ice-cream, Oh! Naturelle makes dairy-free ice cream in 430ml tubs in three flavours, Coconilla (vanilla and coconut), Choc-Oh! (chocolate and coconut) and Raspberry & Rose (fruit-based, raspberry and organic rosewater).
Oh! Naturelle was created in Aisling Murphy’s kitchen in Cork in 2014 with co-founder and fellow foodie Louise Ryan, after she couldn’t find a great-tasting, natural dairy-free ice cream in stores and so decided to make her own, using coconut milk as a base.
Proof that the naturalness of her products (Choc-Oh! contains just six natural ingredients, for instance) does not come at the expense of flavour was clearly evident in the reaction of the Great Taste Awards judges. They gave the company’s Raspberry Rose sorbet a prestigious and rare three Gold Stars, making Oh! Naturelle one of only 14 products to receive such high accreditation in Ireland. The judges described it “an exquisite example of a premium luxury; we want more” before adding:
“On eating, judges were transported to the markets of Marrakech.”
Oh! Naturelle ice creams are stocked in selected SuperValu stores in Ireland, mainly in Cork and Dublin.
Nice to be nice!
Wellnice Foods Ltd is a Limerick-based food development company, operating in the healthy snack category. The company is on a mission to help people in various life stages assimilate more plant-based nutrition, by creating products that are fun and easy to use.
Its first brand, Wellnice Pops, is a range of four tasty and healthy ice pops made exclusively from cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juice. These pops address some of the key nutritional needs of busy people in the 25- 45 age demographic, by providing micronutrients that are essential for immunity, bone and reproductive health.
The range includes: Frost Beet, Two Carat Diamond, All Hail Kale and Lemon Sucker and has an average of just 23 calories. BJ and Trín, the creative duo behind Wellnice Foods Ltd, combined their skills as a nutritionist and an engineer, to set up the company in 2015. They launched with their first UK distribution partner in March and the second phase of NPD, for a fun and healthy kids range, begins later this year.
Q&A with… Damien Kennedy, founder of Wheyhey
Q: How are you spreading the word about Wheyhey within Ireland?
A: As a proud Irishman, I’m excited and extremely proud to be coming back home to launch Wheyhey’s newest flavour, Salted Caramel, onto the shelves of an Irish retail giant like Dunnes. The launch comes at a time when consumer demand for healthier snack options, like sugar-free and protein-rich ice cream, has reached an all-time high.
Irish ice-cream fans will not only love the fact that our innovative ice-cream recipe is all natural, truly healthy and full of flavour, but also that it’s made in Ireland from whey protein, the goodness found in the best bit of milk, from Irish cows.
Q: How will you help to ensure Wheyhey becomes a ‘must-have’ summer indulgence?
A: This spring heralds in a series of exciting firsts for Wheyhey. We’re committing to a spend of just over €1 million across the UK and Ireland on a series of high profile marketing campaigns this year, including our first ever TV campaign, which will appear in Ireland in June.
This year will also see us launch an exciting pipeline of ice-cream NPD, starting with the introduction of our new Salted Caramel flavour on shelves in Dunnes from May onwards. The sumptuous new Salted Caramel ice-cream contains just 85 calories and 9g of protein per 100ml serving and is the third edition to Wheyhey’s covetable collection of Chocolate and Vanilla freezer favourites, all of which are sugar-free and made using milk from happy, grass-fed cows that are cared for by trusted farmers.
Hot on the heels of this new launch, we’ll also be adding nine further flavours to our sugar-free and indulgent ice-cream offering including Brownies & Cream, Chocolate Orange, Cinnamon Danish and Coconut.
We’re also looking forward to attending Taste of Dublin on 14-17 June.
Q: What kind of consumer is purchasing frozen treats and when, and how are you capitalising on this?
A: As a category, ice cream is growing at 3.9% year-on-year, and at Wheyhey we’ve seen our own growth far outstripping this at 300%. A major contributing factor to our success is Wheyhey’s appeal with millennial consumers, the vast majority (89%) of whom are opting for ‘better-for-you’ snacks at least once a week, whilst also putting taste first when making their selection.
Thanks to Wheyhey’s naturally sugar free, low calorie but high in flavour proposition, our appeal is much wider than the millennial audience – providing the perfect option for everyone and anyone who wants a delicious ice cream that is free-from sugar, low in calories but packed full of protein goodness – whether you’re a busy mum, a commuter, a 6am gym-goer or a sweet-toothed craver.
Q: How do you appeal to both the impulse purchase and planned indulgence occasions?
A: With take-home options driving the ice-cream category growth, our delicious 500ml pots (RRP: €6) are a must-have for those who like to pre-plan their desserts but also for the more impulsive shopper, particularly when the weekend is approaching. With this in mind, it’s important to put your freezer in a high footfall area so consumers spot the ice cream. Link deals work really well with other frozen/fresh food e.g. buy a starter, main and pudding for €10.