Chokablok ice cream has gone on sale at zoos, theme parks and piers across the UK - making it Tesco’s first venture brand to be sold outside its own estate.
In a move described by one industry observer as “a fundamental shift in the branded marketplace”, two of Chokablok’s Magnum-style choc ices on sticks are being sold at 11 outlets, including London and Whipsnade Zoos, where the brand’s manufacturer R&R is the official ice cream supplier.
The prices of the Billionaires Dynamite and Peanut butter Nutter sticks differ slightly across the outlets but at Knowsley Safari Park they are £1.70, 10p cheaper than the Thorntons choc ice sticks sold there.
Tesco launched Chokablok sharing tubs in the UK last June before rolling them out to its stores in Central Europe and some One Stops.
At full price the 500ml tubs sell at £3.99 - pitting it directly against Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, although much has been sold on deal, with 85 promotions over the past year [Brandview 52 w/e 17 July 2012].
The range has since been expanded to seven flavours, with choc ices on sticks joining the line-up in October and the brand extending into confectionery this Easter. Chokablok is now dipping its toe into the single-serve market with 100ml ice creams (rsp: £1.35) hitting shelves earlier this year.
Industry observers said the distribution of Chokablok beyond Tesco could mark an important turning point for private-label and venture brands.
“When you consider the power the multiples have, there is no reason own brands shouldn’t flourish beyond their current confines,” said Tom Ellis, director of insight and innovation at Brand Genetics. “It must worry premium brands that aren’t market leaders, as Tesco and R&R together have huge clout.”