The company, which was founded in 1920 but absent for 30 years before relaunching in 2014, will launch Butter Pecan, Cherry Vanilla Chunk, Cinnamon Churro and Cookies & Cream at the beginning of next year.
David Yuengling, president of Yuengling’s Ice Cream, told DairyReporter that these new flavors were chosen after looking at market trends of what sells well, as well as seeing how innovation and variety can be used to craft new flavors.
“The Cinnamon Churro was our creative side,” he said. “It’s a little bit of innovation and variety. We’ve had request for cinnamon type flavors and we thought that’d be a good way to cover a couple of bases.”
A healthy return
Yuengling’s Ice Cream, which will ring a bell with many due to the family’s Yuengling Brewery, was brought back after a 30 year hiatus. Yuengling said many people had been asking why it had stopped producing the ice cream, and asked it to start making it again.
“We did a little business research and finally decided to go back into business,” he said.
The company plans to launch four new flavors each year, trying to speak to consumers’ desire for variety of flavors and innovation. Yuengling said last year's release, Caramel Popcorn, is an example of the kind of differentiated flavor it wants to bring to market.
The company’s other flavors include Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Fudge Chunk with Pretzels, Root Beer Float, Chocolate Chip, Espresso Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Marshmallow, Orange Cream, Original Sea Salt Caramel Swirl, Peanut Butter Cup, Caramel Popcorn and its signature flavor, Black & Tan.
Yuengling’s Ice Cream also has two seasonal flavors, Spiced Pumpkin Roll and Peppermint Crunch.
“Our plan is to each year come out with some things that our consumers want and are familiar with,” he said. “Different flavors [and how they are received] depend on the generation.
"Our customer base from 30 years ago is now probably 50 and older. We are now trying to reach out to younger groups as well. We do a lot of promotional events to get people to try the ice cream.”
Yuengling said the company has done approximately 60 events up and down the east coast this year, reaching a “considerable number of people” and is already seeing that reflected in sales.
“You have to get it in people’s hands,” he said, of returning after a long time away from the market.
“What we found is because ours is a higher quality ice cream, getting it in people’s hands, they can realize how good it really is compared to what they’ve been eating before. A lot of people who say ‘I can’t believe it is this good’ and just switch over from there.”
One selling point of the company’s product is the fact that it is marketed as all-natural, Yuengling said. There are no artificial colors or flavors in the ice cream and he noted that many of the ingredients are GMO-free.
“We get a lot of communication from people; some of it is ‘are you going GMO free?’ or ‘What are you doing as far as the healthier side?’” Yuengling said, “We will be trending in that direction as quickly as we can, but obviously GMO-free ingredients are very difficult to come by.”
Growth after rebirth
After reopening in early 2014, the company said it sold out of its initial three month supply in just two weeks due to high demand. The brand is up 110% in sales from its first year and is now available in 22 states from “Maine to Georgia,” as Yuengling put it.
“There haven’t been a whole lot of new products out on the market in quite a while,” he said. “We’re doing exceptionally well as far as getting into markets … We continue to grow. We’re getting requests from a lot of consumers and a lot of retailers. Our plans are to continue to grow, probably at a bit more of a modest pace.”
Yuengling said the brand will likely grow south and perhaps a little bit west, depending on which retailers express interest in the ice cream.