Ben & Jerry's Starts Selling Ice Cream Direct
A new initiative from Unilever's Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand suggests that resistance to direct-to-consumer sales is thawing in the consumer packaged goods industry.
Ben & Jerry's announced this week that "the day has finally come" when the brands fans can directly order pints of ice cream for home delivery from store.benjerry.com.
The new online storefront "offers a full selection of Ben & Jerry's traditional and non-dairy pints, as well as the newest innovation to hit ice cream shelves, the Pint Slice," according to a release announcing the initiative. Branded T-shirts and other merchandise are also available.
"With [the] increasing popularity of online shopping and fans seeking to get their hands on a pint via mobile, now was the perfect time for us to bring the Ben & Jerry's experience to e-commerce," Jody Eley, the brand's associate global innovation manager, said in the release. "It's no secret that our fans love our flavors and now they can get the love delivered directly to their door without having to leave home."
The product is shipped on dry ice in an insulated shipper. Packages are left at the door based on the parcel carrier’s best practices, although buyer's are strongly encouraged to ensure that someone will be home to receive the delivery, a Ben & Jerry's spokesperson told CGT.
Shipping costs range from $19 for standard delivery of one pint to $49.99 for standard overnight, with the individual SKUs selling for $6.99 or $7.99. The rates do not vary based on order quantity. (Merchandise shipments have lower rates.)
The brand is partnering with Ice Cream Source for order processing and fulfillment. Based in Door County, Wisconsin, the 15-year-old Ice Cream Source sells products from more than 30 brands from manufacturers including Unilever and Nestle.
Ice Cream Source is a division of eTailer Inc., whose "years of experience with shipping frozen product has given us the special expertise that companies interested in a frozen 3PL [third-party logistics] solution are looking for," according to the company's website.