Halo Top dishes out its first scoop shop in California mall
Halo Top, the top-selling ice cream pint in the U.S., is breaking out of frozen containers and taking on soft-serve, Project NOSH reports. The popular brand is scheduled to open its first scoop shop November 15 in Canoga Park, California.
Along with seven of its existing pint flavors, Halo Top will offer for the first time a low-calorie soft-serve product in a cup. According to People, the small version has about 90 calories per 4-ounce serving and comes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, birthday cake and peanut butter flavors. Toppings such as marshmallow sauce, fresh mango, mochi and shredded coconut also will be on hand to add variety — and more calories — to the menu.
Besides cups, Halo Top products can be ordered at the scoop shop in four cone options (Halo's “puffle," waffle, sugar or cake), as a Halo Top taco with classic, red or blue waffle cone shells, or as a “scooped-to-order” ice cream sandwich with vegan or high-protein cookies, the magazine noted.
The first scoop shop — with more planned — allows Halo Top to offer a more personalized experience for fans to indulge their ice cream habit. Customers will be able to order a variety of their favorite flavors in different types of containers and add a limited number of toppings. The novelty products will be offered only in the shops, which provides an exclusive element much different from grabbing a pint of Halo Top from the grocery freezer case.
According to Project NOSH, Halo Top also is launching an app-supported loyalty program that customers can use for in-shop purchases, providing it with another way to increase shopper dedication to the brand. This is a savvy way to embrace social media to attract and keep patrons coming back to the company's brick-and-mortar location.
For Halo Top, the store also could provide ways to test out new products and collect feedback and ideas from customers on what items they would like to see at their local grocery store. Halo Top is not only able to sell more ice cream, but take advantage of free consumer insight to help its overall business.
After launching in 2012, Halo Top has seen tremendous growth, including a 2,500% increase in sales last year. The company has benefited from increasing consumer demand for products that contain clean and simple ingredients they're familiar with. The company sold more than 17 million pints of its low-calorie, high-protein and low-sugar products in 2016.
There have been rumors that Halo Top's owner might be exploring a sale. If the company were to be acquired by a larger firm — Nestle, Unilever and General Mills have been mentioned as possibilities — having the scoop shops and its innovative new products in the portfolio would add even move value to what is already considered a $2-billion business.
While it doesn't seem like Halo Top could get a whole lot more popular than it already is, the scoop shop opening next week and the other locations to follow create additional excitement around the brand and increase speculation about what else the company might be concocting for the future. Halo Top certainly hasn't followed any formulas in packaging or marketing so far. Other, more predictable ice cream companies with their well-known brands are finding it tough to compete with that kind of creativity and innovation, although chances are they will continue to try.