Cream of the crop
Schöller Ice Cream Ltd is the leading supplier of ice creams, sorbets and desserts within the catering market
Last time we spoke to Mike Godwin, managing director of Schöller Ice Cream Ltd, back in 2005, the company had recently launched a new addition to its extensive product portfolio. The Mövenpick of Switzerland All Natural collection’s aim was to set a new standard in terms of sophistication and high quality and was said to be significantly ahead of any products that were then available on the market. Understandably, Schöller’s expectations for this range were very high. Speaking now in 2007, Mike explains how the Mövenpick range has been a great success story. “When we launched the Mövenpick ‘All Natural brand’ in 2005 we received an amazing 67 per cent increase in sales – this was extraordinary. We followed this up in 2006 with a 21 per cent increase and this year, after the first quarter, we have achieved a 15 per cent increase.”
He continues: “I am now responsible for helping other countries around the world within the Schöller Group set-up the Mövenpick brand. The UK business model has been a huge success, therefore I am assisting other companies to replicate it – this is a fine compliment to the UK team.” Using only the finest ingredients prepared with old-fashioned care and garnished with imagination, Mövenpick products reflect the integrity and naturalness of the company’s Swiss heritage. The range uses carefully selected exclusive raw ingredients from the world’s finest possible sources, including only fresh cream, fruit pieces and purees, and no artificial additives.
Mike adds: “The reason behind the success of this range is quite simple – the quality is extraordinary. Mövenpick only buys ingredients that come from the absolute best sources. The vanilla used is Madagascan Bourbon vanilla – the highest quality pure vanilla available, the strawberries included are some of the best in the world and the pistachio nuts are from Bronte in Sicily, where their scent and green intense colour is like no other.”
Due to the success of the Mövenpick brand, an increasing amount of customers are interested in the products. “We are getting a lot of requests from our clients asking where they can buy Mövenpick products. In 2006 we opened up a number of scooping stations around the UK and we now have approximately 400 in total. These have proven to be very successful and you can now find them in shopping malls, leisure sites and holiday resorts’” Mike comments.
Schöller Ice Cream Ltd was established in the UK in 1989 as a part of the international Schöller Group, contributing towards one of the largest ice cream producers in the world. The initial challenge was to introduce premium quality brands of ice cream and sorbet into the UK catering market. With the success of its Mövenpick and Erlenbacher brands, Schöller has gone from strength to strength. In 2002, Schöller Ice Cream Ltd was bought by Nestlé and now forms part of the largest food company in the world.
The exclusive Erlenbacher range covers a wide variety of product types – tartes, cheesecakes, gateaux, pies and cakes. All these have one factor in common – the
high quality of the ingredients used and the high standard of the recipes. Mike explains: “The Erlenbacher range has been with the company for a while now and it has a reputation of capable of supporting the Mövenpick market position. In the last year this range has gained a significant amount of recognition and as a result its sales have grown by 101 per cent.”
To help compliment the company’s product portfolio, a menu service is offered. Mike elaborates: “We don’t just sell ice cream, we sell a dessert concept. We have been working on menus for many years now but over the last 18 months we have developed a laptop system, whereby our sales representatives go to the customer and work with them to draw up a menu for their restaurant. Doing this process in front of the customer enables them to create a unique menu, which is both cost and time effective. The marketing of our products has definitely helped drive our business
He continues: “As a result of the introduction of the new menu process we have placed a significant amount of emphasis on systematic training programmes. These programmes teach the sales representatives how to sell in a consultative manner and to ensure they are fully briefed in terms of the quality of the products they are handling. Due to the success of these training procedures, we have been invited by some large wholesalers to train their sales teams.”
Schöller’s reputation was enhanced even further this year when it won the Best New Ice Cream Dessert Award from the British Frozen Food Federation for its Mandarin and Cranberry Ice Cream. Looking to the future, Mike concludes: “I had a vision back in 1989, which was very simple – to provide the finest quality ice cream with the most innovative presentation and we are still doing it today!”