Ice system co. proposes heating up profit margins
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. —Ice is a high-margin business, but one the drug channel has not embraced. A new system, the Ice Gourmet, is out to change all that. The company wants to create a brand for ice, change the way it’s distributed and increase retailers’ margins in the process.
“Historically, bagged ice has been the No. 1 margin category for retailers with margins as high as 100%,” said John Williams, president of San-I-Vend, creator of the Ice Gourmet system. “But there are problems with the way ice is bagged and distributed. Consumers view it as a commodity product.”
Gourmet ice cubes are solid, block cubes that are made with purified water. The cubes have been covered by Food & Wine and Gourmet magazines, and are “hailed by bartenders for their slow melting qualities,” Williams said. The cubes don’t congeal with other cubes to form that giant mass of ice consumers are accustomed to getting in a bag.
The Ice Gourmet system brings production to the retailer with a backroom unit that includes a commercial ice-maker, along with a standard point-of-sale ice freezer. The ice-maker has a 30-in. by 30-in. footprint—not much bigger than a soda vending machine. The front-of-store freezer is 2 ft. to 3 ft. wide, depending on the model.
Store employees make ice as needed. “Anyone can be trained to make ice, and the ice bags can be filled in seconds,” Williams said.
The product also can retail at a higher price because it no longer is viewed as a commodity item. That means margins can be 200% to 300% on a product that normally retails for less than $2 a bag.
Khloe Kardashian partners with U by Kotex
NEW YORK U by Kotex has partnered with Khloe Kardashian to encourage women to join the Declaration of Real Talk campaign, designed to empower women to openly discuss vaginal health.
The Declaration of Real Talk is part of the launch of the innovative and stylish U by Kotex product line developed by Kimberly-Clark, creators of the Kotex brand and the feminine care category. Featuring sleek black packaging and brightly colored wrappers, the self-expressive design of the tampons, pads and liners mirrors the line’s goal of supporting women in having bold discussions about their health. The line was created in response to women’s shared frustration with today’s institutional look and uninspired attitude of the feminine care category, U by Kotex said. Recently, U by Kotex debuted new commercials, poking fun at the way feminine care products are advertised with the tagline, “Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?”
The company said its partnernship with Kardashian will promote social change and inspire women to speak out against societal pressures and censorship.
“I’m happy to help U by Kotex start breaking down this wall of euphemisms – literally,” said Khloe Kardashian. “I’ll gladly take a sledgehammer to the things holding women back and want everyone to join me in supporting this cause.”
Pringles debuts new multigrain potato chips
CINCINNATI Pringles is rolling out a tasty twist on multigrain snacks.
New Pringles Multigrain is the latest addition to the Pringles family and comes in three mouth-watering varieties: truly original, creamy ranch and cheesy cheddar. As part of the nationwide rollout, Pringles and Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence are working together to make it easy for consumers to also make a difference while trying new Pringles Multigrain with the “U Taste. We Donate” campaign. Enter the UPC code from any can of Pringles Multigrain between March 15 through June 30 at http://www.pringlesmultigrain.com/ and Pringles will donate $1 (with a total donation of up to $100,000) to Share Our Strength, an organization working to end childhood hunger in America.
“New Pringles Multigrain succeeds in giving consumers a multigrain snack that actually tastes great,” said Bryan Hamilton, Pringles brand manager. “Just one taste and you’ll never think of multigrain snacks the same again.”
Pringles Multigrain crisps are available at U.S. mass, grocery and drug retailers.