Remember the Danish ice creams 33? Ice Cream Life company to open 15 in Mexico


By CAPosts 24 June, 2020 - 04:00pm 48 views

© E+ In a first phase, the business model will focus on marketing ice cream and milkshates at home points of sale, as well as selling products to take away through apps like Uber Eats.

Ice Cream Life is a good example of 'the one who perseveres'. The Mexican company, which emerged a decade ago after the association of a group of friends, had to wait seven years to use the famous brand created in the 80s in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, by Francisco Vega. Under the franchise model, the Danish 33 ice cream parlors, with their blue and yellow facades and their logo printed on a dial, expanded throughout the country and became a symbol of the era marked by Flans, the sacks with shoulder pads and the hair with frizz. Even celebrities, such as footballer Hugo Sanchez, promoted the ice cream brand at the time.

But the history of the Mexican brand came to an end when Nestlé acquired it in 1988. Although the multinational maintained it for a few years, in 1998 it decided to put it in the freezer to make way for its own brands of popsicles and ice cream. "It is common practice for large companies to buy competing brands to improve their position in competing markets," says Mauricio Nájera, president of Grupo Helados Vida, the Mexican company that now owns the Danish 33 brand. Some 25 years later, Grupo Herdez tried to rescue the iconic Mexican brand, when it bought nestlé's ice cream division in Mexico for $1 billion, which included, in addition to Danish 33, the Mega, PelaPop and eXtreme brands. In 2016, pallets and ice cream cans with the Danish 33 logo reappeared in the freezers of self-service stores and convenience stores. However, for four years the use of the mark had been in dispute. In 2012, the Mexican company Helados Vida, which sought to venture into the sale of ice cream with a powerful brand, applied to the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI) for the registration and use of the Danish name 33 and the agency granted it to him. "The Law says that if a trademark is not used for three years it can be exploited again. And the Danish brand 33 had been disused for more than 20 years," explains Nájera, in an interview with Expansión. But Nestlé filed an umbrella and the matter escalated to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, which this week finally decided to tip the balance towards the Mexican company. Ice Cream Vida, which has so far focused on the sale of artisan ice cream, is ready to invest between $15 million and $20 million to open 15 Danish 33 ice cream parlors nationwide, set up a small plant in Mexico City and condition wineries for ice cream distribution from the first quarter of 2021. Unlike the strategy with which Grupo Herdez tried to relaunch the eighties brand in the Mexican market, directing it to millennial consumers, with phrases like 'You dale' and incorporating figures such as Shakira, Katy Perry, Maluma and J Balvin in its advertising, Ice Cream Life will appeal to nostalgia to reposition the brand among consumers who met it in the early 80s. "Those of us who are 40 or 50 years old remember the brand with great affection. We have already read comments on social media from people who met Danesa 33 in the 80s and who now say: how good they are coming back. We want to rescue the essence of the brand so we will return to the colors and design that the ice cream parlors had at the time it was first launched", says Nájera. With this format, the Mexican entrepreneur will seek to make 2% of the ice cream market in Mexico in the first year of operations, a stake similar to that of Grupo Herdez today.

The Ice Cream Fair, an agency that promotes the consumption of this product, estimates that the value of the ice cream market in Mexico, amounts to 900 million dollars per year, with annual growth of 4.5%. Nájera sees at Unilever its biggest competitor, while it has almost half of the market for popsicles and ice cream in Mexico under its Holland brand. The Mexican entrepreneur anticipated that in a first phase, the business model will focus on the marketing of ice cream and milkshaurs in its own outlets, as well as on the sale of products to carry through applications such as Uber Eats. But it did not ruled out that in a second phase retailers could be negotiated to distribute packaged products in their refrigerators. Nájera is ready to bring the eighties back to Mexico with a concept that triumphed more than 30 years ago and with ice cream recipes that he has worked for the last decade. You have confidence in your project. "Ice cream is a great product: it is consumed all year round and has 80% margins," he says.