Haagen-Dazs makes big entry into Australia

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SYDNEY--Pillsbury is spending up to $2 million during the next 12 months to launch its super-premium ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs inAustralia.

There are also plans to open 30 Haagen-Dazs parlors across Australia during the next five years. The ice cream will be imported by Pillsbury, part of U.K.-based Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness, Burger King, Green Giant and Old El Paso.

Haagen-Dazs Australia Director Mike Marrou says the brand will be rolled out in stages to gauge local preferences here.

Haagen-Dazs will initially be sold in up-scale delis and grocery stores, along with special supermarket formats such as Woolworth's Metro and Coles' Let's Eat store. Down the track, flavors developed for the Australian market are in the pipeline.

"We position this brand as a super-premium brand and we will do the same in Australia. It won't hit the mass market on a mass scale for around three years as we build up the brand here," Mr. Marrou says.

In-store sampling so customers can familiarize themselves with the fla-vors will play a major role in the brand's launch into Australia. Advertising will also play a vital role. An outdoor board campaign created by Leo Burnett Co.'s Melbourne office will feature naked bodies in different colors, entwined to replicate ice cream flavors.

Launched in 1961 in New York City, today Haagen-Dazs is sold in more than 50 countries with a network of parlors. The total Australian ice cream market is worth around $700 million a year and Mr. Marrou estimates a fifth of the market is now made up of prestige brands.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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