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Baskin-Robbins introduces first its soft serve.

Baskin-Robbins has announced the introduction of its first line of soft serve products. Scott Colwell, Baskin-Robbins vice president of marketing, noted, "Soft Serve represents 70 percent of all ice cream servings nationwide. With the introduction of our Soft Serve, Baskin-Robbins is now truly a destination that meets everyone's ice cream needs in just one stop." The company claims that the introduction of the soft serve line makes Baskin-Robbins "the only national ice cream chain to offer both soft serve and hand scooped ice cream." The initial rollout will take place at more than 1,000 stores in California and New York, as well as shops in Chicago, El Paso, and Nashville; and chain-wide by spring 2009.

The company has taken pains to describe the product as "Soft Serve," without specifying that it is ice cream. In fact, a spokesperson for Baskin-Robbins told Ice Cream Reporter that the new Soft Serve can be described as "a frozen dairy dessert which has approximately 50% less fat per ounce than our regular ice cream." This would put it at about 6% to 7% fat content, well below the minimum 10% fat content that qualifies a product as ice cream. The fact that the soft serve is not a premium product suggests that it may be targeted to kids.

To help launch the new line, Baskin-Robbins is celebrating "Bump Day" on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, serving expectant mothers a free 3 oz. cone of Soft Serve anytime between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. The promotion will be chainwide.

In preparation for the launch, Baskin Robbins commissioned a survey from Insight Express asking a random nationwide sampling of 1,000 adults, over age 18, about their thoughts and habits when it comes to soft serve. Among the key findings was that fifty-three percent of ice cream lovers ate both soft serve and hand scooped ice cream, in addition, forty-five percent of respondents preferred soft serve in a cone while 18 percent enjoy it in a cup. Soft Serve sundaes were a close third at 17 percent.

Baskin-Robbins will offer the soft serve in cups, cones, sundaes, and pies. The new soft serve will also be used to make Fruit Creams, a blend of soft serve and real fruit flavors, including Mango, Berry Pomegranate and Strawberry. Servings for cups and cones will be available in kids, regular, and large sizes of 3, 6, and 9 ounces respectively. A regular size cone of the soft serve reportedly will cost $1.65, before toppings.
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Publication:Ice Cream Reporter
Date:May 20, 2008
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