No Freezer Burn as Yarnell's Ice Cream Grows With New Owners

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 12:00 am  

“We’re trying to get back on the shelf and make presentations and we didn’t have this equipment to package it,” Boyle said.

Boyle said he thought he had a supplier lined up, but the supplier said the equipment was no longer available. So he ended up using a 56-ounce package, which “turned out to be a real plus for us.” Not only does it have a better display in a retailer’s freezer case than the previous round container, but it’s also easier to scoop ice cream out of.

Schulze & Burch also rehired as many former Yarnell’s employees as were needed. It now has about 25 workers.

In April 2012, nine flavors of Yarnell’s ice cream hit the shelves of retailers in Arkansas, southern Missouri, Tulsa and northern Mississippi. The reborn Yarnell’s also offered five yogurt flavors and three flavors with no added sugar. Since then, Yarnell’s has added seasonal flavors: Blackberry Cobbler and Lemon Ice Box Pie and retailers in Memphis.

Boyle also said that when the brand was relaunched, he wanted to target younger consumers. He hired the Little Rock advertising firm Eric Rob & Isaac, which launched a campaign that includes sponsoring Arkansas high school football games. “So that has raised awareness with the younger generation about the Yarnell’s brand,” Boyle said.

After two years in the ice cream business, Boyle still enjoys it. “It is a fun category because ice cream makes people smile,” he said.

But it’s not an easy industry. “They’re tight margins and distribution costs are high,” Boyle said.

Yarnell’s is competing for customers against such ice cream giants as Nestlé and Blue Bell Creameries. But even that is exciting, Boyle said.

“We like the challenge,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to go up against the big boys.”



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