Mooresville Ice Cream, a regional, small batch creamery since 1924, had been doing steady business in foodservice and institutional. Their Deluxe brand retail presence was weak, however, with distribution in just 42 stores. New ownership felt an opportunity to capture higher margin in retail was passing them by and had an ambitious goal of doubling sales the next year. Concentric took their outstanding product and rebranded it with a story that was distinctive and had emotional resonance, and expanded the line with new flavors. The results were as impressive as the ice cream.
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 Nestlé and Unilever, respectively. Fatigued shoppers were looking for a new face in super-premium pint ice cream.
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.”