- Breyers is rolling out low-calorie, high-protein ice cream varieties called "Breyers delights" that prominently feature calories per pint on their packaging, according to Food Beast. The new formula and packaging is strikingly similar to the Halo Top brand — an upstart, value-added ice cream company taking social media by storm.
- Breyers delights come in Mint Chip, Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream and Creamy Chocolate flavors, some of which are already being sold by select retailers. The new line is scheduled to officially launch in August.
- Unilever's Breyers brand saw $500 million in U.S. ice cream sales last year. Halo Top experienced a 2,500% boost in sales from 2015 to 2016, with more than 13.5 million pints sold for a total of $66.1 million.
Halo Top's meteoric success in the frozen dessert space has largely been fueled by consumer love for its packaging. Each Halo Top pint features the design of a large ice cream scoop on the front. Inside the scoop, the product's calories per pint are printed in large, bold type-face — making this information even more noticeable than the actual Halo Top branding. In the bottom right hand corner, the packaging displays the grams of protein per pint.
This design reflects the startup's savvy understanding of the modern consumer's demands: people want low-calorie, value-added, premium products. Increasingly, these demands outweigh desire for specific brands, which is why Halo Top has seen such success even as ice cream giants like Breyers, Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs continue to innovate with new flavors.
It makes sense that Breyers would try to capitalize on the wave of consumer love for health-centered ice cream products. It's interesting, however, that the company has chosen to so closely mimic Halo Top's branding. The Breyers delights packaging design features a large spoon design in the center featuring calories per pint, and the protein content is also listed in the bottom right hand corner. It will be interesting to see how Halo Top reacts to this marketing when the line rolls out in August, and if the lure works on consumers.
It's possible that Breyers could steal some of Halo Top's market share, especially if Breyers delights cost less. But consumers could also view the legacy brand's new line as a knockoff of the "real-thing" and consider it less "authentic" than Halo Top.
Much of the startup's power also comes from its cult status on Instagram — the #HaloTop hashtag has been used more than 100,000 times, and the company's account has 470,000 followers to date. Unless Breyers can make consumers scream about its ice cream on social media, it's unlikely to topple the growing Halo Top empire.