Gelato Sales “Seriously Intense” at Waitrose

Seriously Intense WaitroseMove over vanilla soft serve, this summer we’ve been looking for something more sophisticated, and so have British customers as evidenced by the sales of premium ice creams at Waitrose have rising by 17.5%.

With gelato bars opening up across the UK faster than you can say ‘ice cream’, Waitrose is tipping this Italian delicacy to be the new frozen dessert of choice. And while its line of six private brand “Seriously Intense from Waitrose” flavors have only been in stores since the beginning of the year, they’ve made a big impact in driving sales in the premium ice cream as a whole. What’s more, with the TV show “Great British Bake Off” mentioning gelato in last week’s episode, sales have risen by a further 95% week on week, due in part to the hit TV show.

Inspired by chefs such as Nigella Lawson, who includes a recipe for meringue gelato cake in her book Nigellisima, in addition to gelato bars such as Gelupo, Gelatorino and La Gelateria in London and Scoops and Notarianni in seaside locations around the country, shoppers are enjoying a revived love affair with all things Italian.

Waitrose created the exclusive private brand authentic gelatos in conjunction with the famous gelato makers, the Lisanti family in Umbria, who have been making gelato for three generations. The top three sellers include the Italian favorites of espresso, pistachio and limoncello. Outside of gelato, the coffee theme continues in premium ice cream with the Seriously Creamy Colombian Coffee ice cream consistently appearing in the top three most popular flavors.

Richard McGinn, Waitrose ice cream buyer says, “Despite only going into branches earlier this year, gelato sales are performing well ahead of our expectations and we’re delighted to see customers embracing this Italian delicacy. Their introduction follows a wider trend for more premium ice creams which we see no sign of cooling down – we’re already looking into adding further flavors for next summer.”

Giuseppe Lisanti, gelato maker, says “The difference between our gelato and ice-cream is that ours is made according to traditional recipes, with fresh ingredients such as Sicilian lemons and hazelnuts from Piedmont – it’s much more creamy and radiant than ice-cream.”

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.