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Scholler, Langnese roll out big guns for German ice cream wars of 2002; now part of Nestle international empire, Scholler should have the resources as well as the products for all-out battle with Unilever's Langnese. Both are playing hardball. (Mango Creme vs. Green Tea).

Both Scholler of Nurnberg (Fax: 49-911-938-1181) and Langnese of Hamburg (Fax: 49-40-3597-2445) have kicked off the ice cretan campaign of 2002 by introducing a large number of new flavors to the German market.

But the competition between the rival ice cream giants may be even fiercer than usual now that Scholler has become part of the Swiss Nestle Group -- global rival of Langnese's parent the Anglo-Dutch Unilever conglomerate (Nestles Takeover of Scholler Cleared by EU).

The big news from Scholler -- besides the merger with Nestle -- is a series of significant changes in its Manhattan line, most notably a relaunch of the packaging. The two household offerings of 1.5-pint (710 ml) and three-pint (1.419ml) packages are being replaced with a single, compact one-liter cup.

The new packages are relatively flat, and fit well into either the display case or the home freezer. They are also sturdy and lend themselves better than their predecessors to stacking in the display case, a benefit for retailers.

There has also been a change in the recipe, making the product creamer and easier to portion. Also new for the Manhattan line is a combination of two ice cream flavors in each package, plus an appropriate sauce.

Ice Creams of the Year

The star of Scholler's new entries is always its annual "Ice Cream of the Year." This time, the 14th, it's Movenpick Mango Creme Fraiche, combining mango ice, pieces of mango and, according to the company, creme fraiche for the first time ever in an ice cream.

The flavor will be available to the public not only in the usual one-liter household package and 200ml cups, but also as a treat on a stick with a milk cream coating, and as a cone with chocolate sprinkles topped with a fruit cocktail. For catering it will be available in five-liter tubs, six-liter cans and pre-portioned for serving.

Another star is the seventh annual Winter Ice Cream of the Year, part of a continuing campaign to wean a stubborn German public away from the idea that ice cream is strictly a summer delicacy. This year it's Movenpick Birne Helene, combining vanilla ice cream, pear ice cream, pieces of pear and chocolate sauce.

"Birne Helene" may be a new idea for Scholler, but the idea of combining pears and ice cream is anything but new. The noted French chef Auguste Escoffier invented and named it in 1858 for a banquet marking the premiere of Jacques Offenbach's opera Belle Helene, about Helen of Troy.

This winter ice cream was available in one-liter household packages and 200ml cups for the retail trade and in five-liter tubs and six-liter cans for the foodservice sector. The idea of a winter ice cream now seems firmly established. Scholler has had one new item every year since 1995.

The year 2000 entry was Burnt Almond, and the 1997 winter ice cream, Black Forest Cherry, was such a hit that it became a permanent part of the line. Last year, in fact, Schwarzwalder Kirsch, containing vanilla and chocolate ice cream, cherry syrup and pieces of cherry, was introduced in still another form, in a cone.

The Manhattan Line

With the widely popular Manhattan line, now sporting new packaging, Scholler will continue to offer the four flavors that have previously been successful: Manhattan Vanilla, Manhattan Strawberry Vanilla, Manhattan Double Choc and Manhattan Lemon Vanilla. To these will be added Manhattan Hazelnut Vanilla and Manhattan Banana Choc. Each of them contains two different kinds of ice cream and a sauce of the appropriate flavor.

These household packages are only part of the Manhattan picture. Also offered are impulse items, and new this year among them is the creamy Manhattan Milk Shake Chocolate on a stick. It is said to taste just like an American milk shake.

And there are Manhattan multipacks. Brand new this year is a changed assortment in the well respected Manhattan Family Box. It now contains four Cola Sticks, a pair of Vanilla Sandwiches and two Crunchy Choc Sticks.

There are, in addition, two new boxes: the Manhattan Sandwich Box and the Manhattan Stick Box. The Sandwich Box contains three Double Choc Sandwiches and three Banana Choc Sandwiches, while the Stick Box has three Hazelnut Sticks and three Almond Sticks, each with a chocolate core, a milk ice coating and a sprinkling of the appropriate nut.

Something for the Kids

Scholler has some new offerings for the younger set, too. Kids no longer have to wait until they're grown to see what tea tastes like, thanks to the refreshing new, lemon-enhanced Green Tea Ice on a stick.

Load Frozen Cherry, a sherbet with grape sugar, is fed into the kids' mouths from a tube. Bum Bum, the fiery red novelty with a stick that's made of chewing gum instead of wood, now has a yellow companion in Bum Bum Banana. The chewing gum as well as the ice cream has a banana flavor.

Kaktus, the colorful ice cream on a stick of lemon, orange and strawberry stripes, has achieved sound effects as well. The green coating, which used to contain nothing but a few crunchy bits, now has popping candies that snap and crackle in the mouth.

Other Scholler lines also reflect the increasingly important trend to multipacks. The company is expanding the Vivana line of yogurt ice cream cups. Yogurt Peach-Maracuja and Yogurt Lemon are being added to the existing two flavors, Yogurt Strawberry and Yogurt Orange. Each flavor, said to be suitable for diabetics, comes in a package with three 150-ml cups. The package has also been changed, and now shows the flavor at a glance.

Another multipack line goes under the title Raffiniertes, meaning "refined." Each package contains three different pyramid-shaped, Italian style confections, a Tartufo, a Cafecino and a Mouscoco. Tartufo has a core of Zabaglione ice cream, with an outer shell of chocolate ice cream sprinkled with candied nuts. Cafecino, with an outer coating of vanilla and coffee ice cream sprinkled with candied nuts, has a caramel sauce at its core. And Mouscoco has an outer shell of milk ice and a core of ice cream mousse au chocolat.

Scholler has apparently found the American idea of a banana split attractive. It is bringing out its existing Macao Banana Split flavor in a new form. The combination of vanilla ice cream, banana ice cream and pieces of banana is now being offered on a stick with a chocolate coating.

And Scholler is offering a new Banana Split flavor in a transparent household pack that lets shoppers look before buying. Banana ice cream is laced with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate sprinkles. Another item is the Nut Nougat Twist, with hazelnut and vanilla ice cream, nougat cream and candied hazelnuts.

Scholler-Movenpick's Ice Coffee Cream, combining vanilla and coffee ice creams with chocolate sprinkles and coffee liqueur, is yet another innovative treat. It is available in one liter household packs.

Langnese Household Packs

Germany's market leader, Langnese, is also offering household packages, impulse products and multipacks.

Magnum Yogurt Fresh is going right into one of Langnese's new multipacks. There are three of them in a package meant to retail for 2.49 euros. Another Magnum item has been developed especially for the multipacks. Caramel & Nut Minis, with pieces of peanut and vanilla ice cream, come 10 to a box with a suggested retail of 2.99 euros.

And the contents but not the price of the Magnum After Dinner multipack is being upped. The package now contains ten, rather than eight, of the small, 35ml ice cream treats with a chocolate and cookie coating, but the recommended retail price for the package remains at around 2.50 euros.

Meanwhile, two of the new household packages are in the Cremissimo line. In Crema di Mascarpone, the smooth rich vanilla ice cream is shot through with a wild berry sauce and strewn with pistachio nuts. And the Mandel Krokant variety combines an almond flavor with pieces of caramelized almond.

The third household pack, expanding the Viennetta line, responds to a survey that shows caramel to be much appreciated as a dessert. Toffee-Caramel combines that ice cream flavor with layers of crunchy chocolate.

Toffee-Caramel comes in a 500ml package with a recommended retail price between 1.89 and 2.49 euros. Crema di Mascarpone and Mandel Krokant come in 900 and 1,000ml packs respectively, each suggested for retail at between 2.99 and 3.29 euros.

All of the household packs are being plugged in TV campaigns. The two Cremissimo products also are being promoted in print and point of sale campaigns.

Two of last year's impulse hits are also going into multipacks. Solero Shots Citrus, small bails of colorful sherbet, are packed in a practical, flat topped box, which contains four of them and is meant to retail for 3.49 euros. Likewise the Flutschfinger, a popsicle in the form of a hand with the pointer finger raised, is going into a multipack, meant to retail for 2.49 euros. Eight of them, each combining strawberry, lime and orange ice, go into each box.

Impulse items

One of the new impulse items is unique in that it is the first in the Solero line meant to be drunk. The Solero Smoover (recommended retail 1.35 euros) is an exotic combination of mango, passion fruit, banana and peach and comes in a resealable package.

The Chupster combines two favorites of the kids, ice cream and lollipops. Once the vanilla ice cream laced with strawberry sauce is dispatched there is still the head of a lollipop on the stick. The special feature of the Cornetto Whippy is a chocolate stick protruding from a cone filled with vanilla ice cream and strewn with bits of chocolate. And once the vanilla and chocolate ice cream is spooned from the Langnese Sea World cup there is still something in it for the kids, one of the little figures offered as prizes.

Fruit 5's on a stick combines five fruit ices, red currant, lime, strawberry, orange and lemon, one on top of the other. The new variant in the Magnum line of ice creams on a stick, Yogurt Fresh consists of yogurt ice cream shot through with raspberry sauce and with Magnum's usual chocolate coating.

RELATED ARTICLE: Nestles takeover of Scholler cleared by EU.

An important step was taken in February in the move by Nestle to acquire Germany's second largest ice cream producer. European Union regulators in Brussels approved the Swiss company's takeover of Scholler Holding AG.

The commissioners looked at the impact of the merger on the ice cream market in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and France, and concluded that there would be nothing monopolistic about it. Nestle would still be only the number two ice cream producer worldwide, though in a stronger position.

The acquisition will make Nestle an important player in the lucrative German ice cream market. Up to now it has been very weak there, controlling only two percent of the market in its Motta brand. Now, with Scholler, it has 19%.

In addition to marketing ice cream under its own name, Scholler has an exclusive license for the sale of the Movenpick brand in several European countries. And the acquisition also makes Nestle a more important figure in the frozen food market, since Scholler controls Eismann, a home delivery service for frozen products.

Unilever, which markets Langnese ice cream in Germany, Ben & Jerry's in the United States and Wall's in Britain, still is number one worldwide, with twice the sales of Nestle even when the Scholler takeover is counted. Even so, the two giants control only about 30% of the global market.

Nestle's emphasis on ice cream is largely due to the efforts of its chief executive, Peter Brabeck, who started his career as an ice cream salesman in his native Austria. The company also recently acquired the right to use the Haagen-Dazs brand in the USA.

Nestle suffered a blow to its sales in 2000 when the huge discount chain Aldi stopped carrying its products. Now, since Aldi handles Scholler products, it has triumphantly returned.

With the hurdle of EU approval passed, Nestle expects to finalize the 100% takeover of Scholler Holding during the course of 2002. The purchase price hasn't been revealed.

RELATED ARTICLE: What's in a name? Plenty! If it used to be Iceland ...

After a year of bad news that tarnished its image, the Iceland Group in the UK has changed its name. From now, it will the Big Food Company, following shareholder approval of the switch.

Shareholders gave their formal thumbs up at an special general meeting Feb. 28. Officially, the name is intended to end confusion caused by the group as a whole sharing the name of one of its subsidiaries, Iceland frozen food stores.

But while the group also operates Booker wholesale delivery and Woodward Foodservice, the 760 retail outlets selling frozen, fresh and chilled foods and a limited range of groceries are the core of the business. Only that business suffered a black eye last year when sales turned sour.

RELATED ARTICLE: New concentrate technology said to improve juice taste. (Belgian-Belize Project)

A new method of concentrating citrus juices, created by the Center for the Development of Industry in Belgium, is being tried out in the Caribbean by Belize Food Products. The new system involves freezing the juice instead of heating it as in the conventional extraction process.

RELATED ARTICLE: Let them eat ice cream -- and bread and pastries.

The city of lights will become the city of ice cream and bread April 20-24 as Paris simultaneously hosts Interglaces, an international trade show devoted to ice cream and frozen desserts; and Europain, similarly devoted to the bread, roll and pastry industry.

While it is hard to get a handle on the French ice cream market because it is so fragmented in terms of distribution channels, total sales are estimated at 1.8 billion euros. The luxury ice-cream market accounts for 182 million euros -- 5% in volume and 10% in value.

Consumption of ice cream stands at 318 million liters -- 6.3 liters per capita. Hypermarkets account for 36% of the volume, supermarkets 34%, home delivery 15%, freezer centers 11%, and traditional outlets four percent. Craftsmen patissiers have a 23% share of the luxury market.

As for the bakery show, two years ago, Europain attracted 648 exhibitors and 77,805 trade visitors from 148 countries. The French bakery industry accounted for sales of 8.2 billion euros last year, with 54% of that in bread, 36% in patisserie and 10% in resale. Traditional bakery held a 71% market share compared to 20% for industrial bakery out of an overall market of 68 billion francs. Some 3.89 million tons of flour are used. The sector employs 93,930 people.

Despite a drop in the number of bakeries in France (45,460 in 1970 compared with 34,000 in 2000) linked to the fall in bread consumption, the traditional bakery market is by no means on the decline. In view of the latest food scares associated with wholesale industrialization, traditionally baked bread is a product that consumers find reassuring. Faced with competition from the industrial patisserie sector, traditional patisseries seek to preserve their added value (quality raw materials and products) while moving with the times (productivity gains, innovation, communication).
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Comment:Scholler, Langnese roll out big guns for German ice cream wars of 2002; now part of Nestle international empire, Scholler should have the resources as well as the products for all-out battle with Unilever's Langnese. Both are playing hardball. (Mango Creme vs. Green Tea).(Brief Article)
Author:Shoemaker, Ted
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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