Devon House to start with five ice cream flavours on shelves Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

As Scoops Unlimited rolls out plans to have its Devon House ice cream sold through retail outlets, the company says it will initially sell five flavours customers have come to love through supermarkets, gas stations and other retail points.

The company announced this week that it has partnered with distributor Wisynco Group Limited to expand its reach to customers.

CEO, Dr Matthew Clarke told Loop News that the move is intended to get the world-renowned ice cream into the hands of those who live outside the reach of stores where Devon House ice cream is sold as well as make a bigger play for market share now held by other big brands.

“Going into retail is essentially just expanding our network, the number of places that we can get sales and the number of avenues that people have to get access to Devon House ice cream,” Clarke said.

The company operates roughly eight Devon House-branded retail outlets nationwide, as well as distributes through authorized third-party retailers, hotels and outlets.

“If you live in corporate areas, [access] is relatively easy but once you get out to further regions, it can become more difficult,” he said noting that while the company sells through third parties in the far-flung areas, “our presence and reach is not as great as we want it to be.”

Retailing is therefore “part of our expansion plan and a way to get more sales, have Devon House ice cream be more accessible to people and to have more ease of access to it,” he said.

CEO of Scoops Unlimited, Dr Matthew Clarke

“What we want to do though is tap those people who want Devon House ice cream, but when they go into the supermarket, they see and buy another brand, those who don’t have a Devon House location near to them, or who are not trying to wait in line and are shopping due to convenience,” the CEO said.

“We are trying to cut into this market and take sales from them [other brands],” he Clarke said.

While Scoops Unlimited is not ruling out exporting in the future, the focus for right now is developing its retail network and putting the work into satisfying customers through the new distribution systems, he said.

“To talk about exports right now may be premature. Our focus is on this new endeavour and getting it correct,” Clarke said.

The company is also focused on adding new store locations and on selling “as much ice cream as we can to our other retail outlets and third-party dealers.”

Additionally, he does not expect the retail sales to cannibalize sales through the store locations, for more than one reason. He pointed to feedback the company has received as well as the long-established and sort after “experience” of coming into the historic Waterloo Road Devon House location or the other stores.

He is banking on the in-store experience to continue to be the pull for customers to queue up for their favourite flavours.

“A lot of it is that people like [the ice cream] on the cones, waffle cones or the different sundaes and how they can be prepared or just being on the grounds. There are certain things that you can get at the locations that you won’t be able to get, at this point in time, at the retail areas, he said.

The decision to only retail Grape nut, Rum and Raisin, Coconut, Devon Stout and Fruit and Nut, was taken strategically with this in mind, Clarke added.

“The locations will allow people to mix and match. You can get two to three flavours, whereas because of how we will have to streamline manufacturing for retail, it will be single flavours,”’ he said.

Customers can expect to see Devon House ice cream on the shelves of their favourite supermarkets by “later this month into early next month,” at a “competitive” price point, Clarke said adding prices will not be “vastly different from what we have in stores.

“We are starting with a run of flavours that we think people will really respond to. This will allow us to perfect how the ice cream will be received so we don’t have any issues,” he said.

The number of flavours will be expanded once the company finds the sweet spot in handling its new distribution system.

For those who are wondering if the flavour profile will remain consistent, Clarke said not to worry, as the company has a wealth of “institutional knowledge” that will no doubt count toward maintaining your satisfaction.

Moreover: “The formulation is the same. You are just being given it in a different packaging.”