Industry News | May 5, 2009

Baskin-Robbins Rollsout Soft Serve Nationwide

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Yesterday Baskin-Robbins became the largest and only national ice cream chain to offer both soft serve and hard ice cream options with the nationwide rollout of its 31-flavor soft-serve line.

According to the company’s global marketing officer, Scott Colwell, the new menu addition will offer customers one stop shopping. “Soft serve accounts for approximately 70 percent of all servings, which presents a strong growth opportunity for Baskin-Robbins,” Colwell says.

The new line was first tested in 2007 in select markets including El Paso, Texas, and Palm Springs, California, and then expanded to 1,000 stores stretching from Chicago to Nashville.

“Baskin-Robbins’ goal was to introduce the best soft-serve product, and customer response so far has been very positive with many people saying they plan to come back to enjoy the full line,” Colwell says.

It might not be the soft serve but the price that brings customers back. Now through Memorial Day, a Vanilla Soft Serve Cone will be just 88 cents.

“We have seen a good response to this special offer,” Colwell says.

In addition to the nationwide rollout, Baskin-Robbins also introduced four new soft-serve menu items yesterday.

The new Magic Sprinkles change color as they are licked off a cone and are available in Berry, Grape and Watermelon flavors, which change from red to blue, blue to purple, and green to red.

The other menu launches are 31 Below, blended soft serve with mix-in toppings; 31 Below Pies, soft-serve pies made with candies and toppings; and Fruit Creams, soft serve and fruit purees.

Although the company would not specify any future menu innovations, Colwell says Baskin-Robbins has “a lot of exciting things in the works.”

--Blair Chancey