Halo Top Completely Conquered Freezer Shelves. Are Scoop Shops Next?
May 31, 2018 - Supermoon
At a Halo Top Scoop Shop on a second building of a Westfield Century City, an upscale mall in central-west Los Angeles, we can have your ice cream served roughly any proceed we want: as a hard-packed dip or a whirl of soothing serve. You can eat your cream from a cup, a cone, or a puffle, that is an eggy character of waffle alien from Hong Kong; if that’s not interesting enough, we can sequence an ice cream sundae, an ice cream sandwich or — given this is California — an ice cream taco. You can have these treats surfaced with all from green sticking worms to rainbow sprinkles to mochi, that a dip emporium encourages heartily. “Go clumsy on a toppings,” a website reads. “With Halo Top, you’ve got calories to spare!”
This is given Halo Top isn’t unchanging ice cream: It’s a low-calorie, low-sugar, high-protein version, that a code has been offered by a pint in grocery-store freezers given 2012. Those pints are 280 calories total, and they container 20 grams of protein. For comparison, a pint of Breyer’s vanilla is about 520 calories, and that’s double a protein in a Clif bar. Halo Top is a high-volume, low-impact treat, and a wrapping boasts a summary that’s valid to be catnip to a diet-fatigued populace, inspired for something they can indulge in with abandon: “Stop When You Hit a Bottom.”
And afterwards buy another pint. In a final 6 years, Halo Top has turn a best-selling pint of ice cream in America. In 2016, a organisation sole some 13.5 million of those pints, earning $66 million in revenue; in 2017, a take was closer to $100 million. It’s ubiquitous, accessible in Walmart (where, upon a debut, Halo Top’s 7 flavors became a 7 many renouned ice creams a sequence sold) yet also in pricey healthy grocery stores like LA’s Erewhon, that was one of a brand’s initial indiscriminate customers.
So now that it’s cowed a freezer game, a organisation is dipping a toe into a waters of retail, looking during a ways a brick-and-mortar participation can enhance a patron bottom and enthuse deeper faithfulness among devotees. The code has non-stop dual dip shops so far, a one in Culver City as good as an opening in Topanga, an LA area best famous for a Kardashian adjacency. (When Kylie Jenner did her initial pop-up for Kylie Cosmetics, she chose a Westfield Topanga for her debut.)
And soon, a pop-up is entrance to New York’s Supermoon Bakehouse, in a exam of a NYC market: Starting today, a Lower East Side plcae will offer Halo Top’s summer flavor, peaches and cream, as soothing serve, swirled into a Supermoon Cruffin. (That’s a croissant-muffin hybrid, duh.) According to Doug Bouton, boss and arch handling officer of Halo Top, “New York is on a brief list of cities, and we wish to pierce a some-more permanent chronicle of a judgment there” after a Supermoon pop-up closes. “New York is nearby a tip of a list as we demeanour to where else could we take this, and why.”
“Why” is a doubt for a code that reported a 2,500 percent boost in sales between 2016 and 2017: Why worry with a brick-and-mortar shops? “We’ve got this good indiscriminate business where people go buy a pint during a grocery store, yet they don’t have any discernible knowledge with a code other than that,” Bouton says. “So we suspicion this would be a unequivocally cold proceed to supplement a amicable experience, where we can go with your friends, your family.”
That vibe — casual, fun, social, young, now — is critical to Halo Top. One of a reasons for a brand’s exile success is how quite matched it is to wellness culture: Instead of job itself “diet,” conjuring limitation and flavorlessness, Halo Top brands itself as healthy, regulating difference informed to other products that bask in a heat of a workman food movement. In press materials, it’s described as “all-natural” and “crafted with usually a excellent ingredients,” while founder/Halo Top CEO Justin Woolverton defined “healthy,” in an essay in Time, vaguely as “foods that are as unprocessed as they can be.” Its cheerful, aspirational cultured is some-more same to Westfield neighbors like Pressed Juicery and Equinox than old-school weight-loss brands like Jenny Craig or Slim-Fast.
“There’s a turn of punishment trustworthy to [most diet foods],” Bouton says. “Whereas with Halo Top, it’s kind of like a fun, Willy Wonka–type vibe.” Adding to that notice is a account that borrows heavily from a universe of tech: Industry outsiders disrupting a undisturbed marketplace by risk and ingenuity. “Halo Top is one of a many disruptive stories I’ve seen in my 10 years in a industry,” food and libation financier Wayne Wu told Inc. in February. (Mirroring a story arc of other disrupters, a story’s title admitted Halo Top a “most hated-on new ice cream code in America.”) In Bloomberg, Woolverton has spoken of his proceed to recipe-testing as “hacking”; elsewhere, a code has been lauded for a unusual selling strategies.
The branding isn’t accurately Wonka-wacky, yet it positively — generally on Halo Top’s amicable media accounts — does review fun. Flavors embody pickled caramel, birthday cake, and s’mores, as good as red velvet and cinnamon roll. The customary Halo Top crate is pastel accented with gold: It’s a demeanour that could lay positively subsequent to a potion of rosé in an Instagram post, one aspect that Bloomberg credits for a success.
Similarly, a dip shops are designed to be common on amicable media (which is a intelligent move, given a insanity for ice cream Instagrams demonstrated by a Museum of Ice Cream’s sellout runs). There’s a wall of copper spoons in Century City, as good as a neon yellow pointer that reads GUILT-FREE ZONE, facilities that Bouton calls “Instagrammable moments.” But no dual dip shops are alike, so “It’s not [like] if you’ve been to one dip shop, you’ve been to each dip shop,” says Bouton. “We wish it to be like, If you’ve been to one, we need to go see all a others, given they’re all different.”
The shops aren’t only a opposite proceed to buy a same ice cream; they’re a whole new experience. In further to a accumulation of cones and ice cream sandwich options, soothing offer is on a menu, as are toppings. The code is also anticipating that a array, smart and eye-catching in a possess right, with those puffles and cruffins, can assistance attract a new customer. “It’s a whole opposite kind of use occasion,” Bouton says. “It’s a small some-more impulse, like, ‘Hey, I’m walking by a mall and we could use a midday snack.’ And instead of a crater of yogurt, for a same calories and nutrition, we can also have a dip of ice cream.”
Bouton would adore to enhance a dip emporium sovereignty indefinitely. “If we could open adult a thousand of these locations, we would,” he says, “but we have singular time and resources.” Halo Top came to a dual Westfield locations by happenstance. “Commercial genuine estate is a blood sport,” Bouton says, yet he does consider it worked out for a best: “[Both locations are] in upscale areas with other brands that we like, on an surreptitious level, co-branding with,” he says. “You’re going to be in a same plcae as Lululemon or Equinox or Eataly, that kind of stuff.”
In other words, a neighbors put an aspirational shimmer on a product only by association, suggesting that Halo Top is not a diet food yet an beguiling member of a healthy lifestyle. There’s also a cost to consider: While a pint of Halo Top can be had for $4 or so during Walmart, a cone of soothing offer with one commanding will run we roughly $7 in a dip shop, so it creates clarity to place it in spots where a normal consumer won’t frustrate during a price.
The dip shops are positively an examination for a brand. Bouton isn’t frightened of that; for him, Halo Top’s whole thing is experimenting. “Candidly, we combined a space, so to speak: a category,” Bouton says of a healthy ice cream niche that Halo Top inhabits. “We always try to do something different. We don’t wish to do it a proceed it’s been finished before.”
So if dip shops don’t infer to be essential in a prolonged run, Halo Top isn’t married to a idea. They are, after all, “not a sell business during heart,” as Bouton acknowledges. “We’re a indiscriminate business.” And when that indiscriminate is pulling in $100 million and per year, since not see if a storefront or dual can assistance build a business?
“The sell business is a selling and branding play that supports a indiscriminate business in terms of loyalty,” Bouton says. “You speak about all of a foe in a category, it’s, how do we make certain a business sojourn constant to a brand?”
Ultimately, “these could be unequivocally essential shops and businesses in their possess right. We could be a Jeni’s, or a Salt Straw or a Pinkberry, Yogurtland.” But for now, Halo Top is only gripping an eye on things. “We’re not committed to a hundred shops,” Bouton says. “We’re opening adult a few of these, and we’re stability to investigate in terms of money flow, profitability. If they go as good as we wish they will, afterwards yeah, there competence be a hundred of these things. If it’s some-more of a selling expense, maybe we adjust strategy. We only have to wait and see.”
Zan Romanoff is an LA-based author whose work has seemed online and in print; she’s also a author of dual novels and her third, LOOK, is stirring from Dial Books. Wonho Frank Lee is a Los Angeles photographer.
Editor: Erin DeJesus