Organic dairy brand Rachel's moved into the freezer cabinet for the first time earlier this year with its new ice cream range.
In the crowded luxury ice cream sector the company, together with manufacturing partner R&R, pinpointed a market opportunity for a super-premium creamy organic fruit option.
The new offer will need to successfully compete against existing organic brands Yeo Valley, Green & Black's, and Mackie's as well as conventional premium ranges from Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.
With much of the competing products focused on traditional flavours such as vanilla or confectionery variants, Rachel's aims to establish a point of difference among consumers for whom taste and quality are key drivers.
"It is the only organic fruit offering on the market that sits well with the brand and adds consumer interest providing a more permissible treat option," says Charlotte Hambling, senior brand marketing manager at R&R.
The ice cream has been launched into Tesco and Waitrose for the summer season. It contains whole fruit pieces and comes in two flavours, Ravishingly Raspberry and Decadently Double Cherry. Both come in a 500ml tub and were originally priced at £4.29 . This has now been dropped to £3.99 in Waitrose to reflect similar cuts to Green & Black's and the like. However, there's a word of warning from Hambling. "It's no secret that organic fruit is not only in limited supply but is also an expensive ingredient."
Although it's too early for an indication of how well the product is competing, Hambling is confident that new customers will be attracted to the ice cream aisle through the brand recognition and reassurance they get from Rachel's. "We're expecting strong incremental results on the back of that," she says, adding that sales for March are "looking good".
This year a large-scale ad campaign is planned, along with dozens of sampling events and sponsorship of the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.