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Barratt and Icefresh retro ice cream launch brings joy to a locked down nation

A licensing partnership between confectionery brand Barratt and Icefresh has surpassed sales expectations during lockdown, thanks to the launch of an ice cream range targeted at retro sweet fans.

The range of four ice lollies and an ice cream tub was made available exclusively at Iceland this summer, with ice cream versions of childhood favourites Fruit Salad, Dip Dab, Flump, Black Jack and Wham.

The partnership was brokered by brand licensing specialist, The Point.1888, which is now seeking new partners for the Barratt brand following the increased awareness that has been generated through the collaboration.

The fun-filled range entered all of Iceland’s more than 1000 stores nationwide from April 20th, a month into the UK’s lockdown experience. Once on sale the range repeatedly sold out, with more than 1.3m units sold in the first 12 weeks, despite the strict social distancing measures and without a significant launch investment.

Valeo Foods, owner of the Barratt brand, has stated its belief that the success was linked to ‘a strong national affection for a familiar British brand we have all grown up with’ and the fun and escapism it brings to consumers.

Russell Tanner, marketing and category director at Valeo Foods, said: “During a challenging time for the nation, the supermarket shop became the only time many people left their homes.

“The Barratt ice cream range became a sell-out success not just because of the fantastic lockdown weather, but because shoppers were seeking small and cost-effective ways to bring fun into their lives at a time when that wasn’t easy to come by.

“Although this was a brand-new product in freezers, buyers trusted the Barratt brand for a taste sensation that would help to infuse their lockdown summer with joy. As a result we’re thrilled to be emerging from a challenging trading period with an army of new and reinvigorated brand fans.”

Sarah Crimes, head of marketing at The Point.1888, added: “Against the backdrop of Covid, to reach this type of result is amazing and is a testament to the strength of the Barratt brand. As experts at bringing licensing partners together, we’re thrilled at a job well done and are now ready to take advantage of the increased interest in Barratt from retailers to explore more collaborations in the near future.”

Icefresh was responsible for translating Barratt’s range into the ice cream experience.

Lucy Wright, brand manager, said: “As we developed this new range we knew that sweet-lovers would be unforgiving of anything that didn’t truly recreate that joyful feeling of enjoying a sweetie in the playground. We kept coming back to the original sweets and refining the recipe until we were confident that we had a product that was completely true to the Barratt brand – for example, the Dip Dab ice lolly even comes with sherbet for dipping.

“Thanks to the strength of the Barratt fan base and the quality of the ice creams, this has been our highest performing licensed ice cream launch to date, with more than 1.3 million boxes of ice cream sold in the first 12 weeks.”

An earned media campaign whetted the public’s appetite for the frozen treats. After samples were sent to journalists up and down the country, national coverage rolled in with more than 40 mentions secured across titles including The Sun, Daily Express, Metro and You magazine.

Meanwhile a colourful and creative social launch delivered exceptional ROI, with the product seen by 1.3m people and a quarter of a million video views tracked.

Iceland, it turns out, was equally as thrilled with the range performance. Sally Bentley, senior buyer, commented: “We always knew that Barratt and Iceland would be a great fit and as expected, the ice creams flew out of our freezers as fast as they came in. Our store staff were big fans of the range, and were outstanding advocates when it came to promoting the product in store.”

Discussions are ongoing to extend the range in 2021, with more exciting flavours and formats added to maintain consumer interest.

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