Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Haagen-Dazs hopes to scoop another cool billion dollars

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

After posting more than 20 percent growth last year with revenues hitting NT$1 billion (US$30.5 million) in sales, high-end ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs hopes to see the same growth momentum this year, a company official said yesterday.

"We expect to continue with the growth momentum this year to challenge NT$1.2 billion [in sales] by strengthening our brand awareness in central and southern Taiwan," said Florence Wong (黃潔霞), managing director of General Mills Taiwan (台灣通用磨坊), which markets Haagen-Dazs, Green Giant and Nature Valley in Taiwan.

Wong was speaking yesterday as the company debuted its "fruity summer" themed menu featuring mango, passionfruit and strawberry, flavors that have proved popular in market testing.

"The launch of the ... series is aimed at gratifying local consumers who have special preferences for fruit-flavored ice cream," she said.

Wong also sees considerable room for development in retail sales, restaurant channels and the 20 outlets nationwide that it runs directly.

The local Haagen-Dazs distributor has teamed up with banks to allow credit cardholders to spend bonus points on Haagen-Dazs products.

And starting this year, home delivery services of branded gift boxes have been introduced to snatch a bigger market share, she added.

"Taiwan's market might be small compared with Japan and China, but it has evolved from a mid-developing market toward a developed, mature one," marketing manager Daisy Chu (朱蕙芳) said.

A survey by ACNielsen Taiwan showed that the nation's ice cream market, regardless of price range, generates sales of NT$3 billion a year, based on statistics compiled from three channels -- hypermarkets, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Also targeting those who don't mind spending a little more to enjoy life, US brand Cold Stone Creamery opened its second outlet in Taipei's upmarket suburb of Tianmu (天母) last week.

It plans to add three more stores this year, all in Taipei, said Ann Yeh (葉曉菁), operations director for Cold Stone Creamery Taiwan Ltd (酷聖石冰淇淋).

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