Mooresville Ice Cream, a regional creamery, had been crafting in small batches since 1924, doing steady business in foodservice and institutional. Their Deluxe brand retail presence, however, was weak, with presence in just 42 stores. With new ownership came a feeling that a greater opportunity to capture higher margin was passing the company by, with a strong desire to more than double retail sales in the next year.
The new owners gave Concentric the latitude to advise whatever it took to meet their goals, so we conducted research to identify viable strategic options—a discipline we call the Critical Path. We discovered two key things. First, there was an emerging interest in local dairy goods but nobody owned that in the pint ice cream category. And second, legacy brands, like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, had gone “big-CPG” by selling to General Mills and Unilever, respectively. Fatigued shoppers were looking for a new face in super-premium pint ice cream.
New product development: The creamery needed a new brand and flavors to ignite shopper interest at a level significant enough to reach desired sales.
Our strategy was to enter and occupy ice cream category white space with a regionally-produced product that had a regionally inspired brand story. This strategy would help drive awareness, loyalty, and density in a four-state region by introducing a new Carolinian lifestyle brand. Our goal was to take over the crafted, small batch premium space vacated by larger players who had lost their craft “soul” by “going corporate.”
We created Front Porch Carolina Churned Ice Cream. This was a brand that had the feel of a company that had been around for years (they had, after all), and radiated a slower pace and regional authenticity through the name, packaging and flavors.
Concentric’s efforts resulted in Front Porch getting 10 to 15 flavors in every retailer they presented to (3,800 doors total), including Kroger and Walmart. Thanks to the new Front Porch brand and flavors and the successful trade activity, Mooresville Ice Cream met their aggressive sales goal.