Blue Bell products back on shelves in select markets

Dive Brief:

  • Following four months of recall aftermath, including extensive cleaning and testing of its operational Sylacauga, AL, creamery and other still non-operational facilities, Blue Bell ice cream has returned to grocery store shelves in select cities in Texas and Alabama.
  • A listeria contamination prompted the full product recall and creameries shutdown earlier this year, but since, Blue Bell has worked to return to production and maintain its image and reputation, which included accepting a sizable investment to remain in operation.
  • Blue Bell's plans are to reintroduce its products in 15 states while taking its original expansion route east across the southern U.S., with the hopes of eventually returning to all former markets in the 23 states the company was in before the recall. Limited production capacity is keeping the company from announcing exact return dates for its products in some states.

Dive Insight:

Blue Bell's home base in Texas, where it is a beloved brand, should be easy for the company to win over, but the challenge will be earning back the trust of other markets outside of Texas and the South. 

"They have so much goodwill built up that they had a place in the starting gate that few other companies do have [following a recall]," Suzanne Miller, president and founder of Dallas-based SPM Communications, Inc., told Food Dive.

So far, Blue Bell has turned to social media to drum up attention for the relaunch, including posting one flavor per day of varieties that will return to stores.

Filed Under: Corporate
Top image credit: Flickr user Randy OHC