Gifford’s Celebrates Growth, Expansion and 6 New Flavors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gifford’s Announces Volume Growth, Continued Expansion into the Mid-Atlantic and South, Unveils 6 New Flavors, Opens its Five Family-Owned Stands, Celebrates Two Anniversaries, and Reveals Veterans Initiative
The news arrives as Gifford’s hires a new senior manager and prepares to treat customers to free cones on stand opening day
SKOWHEGAN, MAINE — March 13, 2017 — The beginning of ice cream season in Maine officially gets underway when Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream opens its five family-owned stands on Friday, March 17. To celebrate, Gifford’s announced today that the company plans to roll out six new flavors at its five stands, treat customers to free small cones between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on opening day and will begin a season-long fundraising initiative in support of Veterans.
“For the last two years, we have involved our employees and our family in the selection of the causes we will support,” noted Lindsay Skilling, fifth generation ice cream maker and CEO of Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream. “For 2017, Gifford’s employees voted to support Veterans organizations through donations and volunteering. Selecting our charitable focus in this way helps to ensure that as a company we are supporting what the entire Gifford’s family is passionate about,” noted Skilling.
Skilling said that Gifford’s will make cash donations to several Veterans organizations, including the Travis Mills Foundation, and that employees are focusing their volunteer efforts on Veterans causes and initiatives throughout 2017. During the summer months, Gifford’s will also host events and collect donations from customers at its five family-owned stands in an effort to increase the total donation amount they make to Veterans organizations.
Volume Growth and New Markets
As the stands open, Gifford’s also announced that it sold 2.2 million gallons of ice cream in 2016, a 16% increase over the previous year. Big growth for a small ice cream company, especially as volume sales for the U.S. ice cream category declined in 2016 by 5% according to Mintel. Since 2014, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream has experienced a minimum of 8% growth rate in total gallon volume sales each year. Additionally, Gifford’s unveiled that the company is continuing to expand into the Mid-Atlantic and the South. Beginning in April, consumers will be able to purchase delicious Gifford’s ice cream at Lowes Foods in North and South Carolina and at ShopRite, with stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
New Flavors Arrive
New at the stands this year will be the addition of six new flavors for customers to enjoy. These flavors include:
- Blueberry Oat Crumble – A frozen yogurt featuring cinnamon oat clusters dropped into low-fat vanilla yogurt striped with Gifford’s homemade Maine wild blueberry ripple.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter – The company’s award winning World’s Best Chocolate is the star of this new flavor, wrapping around a yummy peanut butter ripple.
- Moo-slide – A rich, velvety coffee-liqueur ice cream base with a fudge ripple and melty, dark chocolate morsels.
- Power Play Fudge – Crushed chocolate cookies in a golden vanilla ice cream full of fudge-filled chocolate pucks and crossed with a milk-fudge ribbon.
- Southern Peach –Diced peaches submerged in peach ice cream make this new flavor simply sublime.
- Color Blast – Red, blue and yellow make this vanilla a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Power Play Fudge, Gifford’s Bruins-inspired flavor, was introduced in October 2016, and has been available in grocery stores since the fall. In addition to enjoying Power Play Fudge at the company’s five ice cream stands in Maine, ice cream lovers can also find it in 90% of the major grocery chains in New England, including, Hannaford, Market Basket, Shaw’s, Star Market, Stop & Shop, Big Y and Roche Bros.
Ice Cream Stands Open!
In keeping with a long tradition, Gifford’s opens its five family-owned ice cream stands on the third Friday in March (Friday, March 17) and will treat its customers to a free small (2 scoop) cone at each stand from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Maine’s Ice Cream Season Opening Day begins at noon at the Auburn, Skowhegan and Waterville stands and at
11 a.m. at the Bangor and Farmington stands.
The company will celebrate two stand anniversaries this summer: the 35th year of business in Farmington, and the 30th year in Bangor. As part of the anniversary celebration, and due to customer demand, Farmington will unveil on opening day a soft serve ice cream machine, serving vanilla, chocolate and the combined flavor twist.
“Our Farmington customers were asking for soft serve and we’re delighted to be able to provide it to them this summer,” noted Skilling.
Skilling explained that along with the new flavors, special events, and promotions, that each of the five stands will offer discounted prices on select ice cream flavors that consumers can buy in bulk, starting on March 17 and while supplies last. Consumers are encouraged to reach out to the stand nearest them to determine which flavors are available for discounted pricing. Additionally, Gifford’s will continue the tradition of offering a flavor and sundae of the week at discounted prices throughout the season. Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream stands will be open until mid-October. To stay up to date on special promotions, follow Gifford’s on Facebook. Hours of operation and directions for each stand can be found at www.giffordsicecream.com.
Hiring a New Senior Manager
Gifford’s is also welcoming a new member to its senior management team. Chris Kinney, a resident of Auburn, is joining Gifford’s as the General Manager of the family’s five Maine ice cream stands. His primary responsibility will be to ensure that all five stands operate in a consistent manner with a customer-centric focus. For more than 30 years, Kinney has worked in food service in many of Maine’s communities including Bethel, Belfast, Farmington, and Portland. “I look forward to joining the Gifford’s team, and I’m truly honored to be part of a legendary Maine Ice Cream tradition,” said Kinney.
“I am pleased to welcome Chris to the Gifford’s family,” said Skilling. “He will be working closely with, Rhonda Shumaker, one of our long-time family members, and together they will bring a new level of experience and expertise to our stands and will help us uphold the traditions that make our stands a vibrant part of small-town Maine.”
About Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream
Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, world-class ice cream from a small town in Maine, is a fifth-generation, family-owned company that sources its fresh milk and cream exclusively from independent family farms, and uses antique Cherry Burrell freezers to slow churn the most delicious, creamiest ice cream possible. The company has earned numerous international and national “First Place” and “World’s Best” awards for its premium ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet. Gifford’s sells its ice cream from Maine to North Carolina and in select states as far west as Illinois. In Maine, Gifford’s has five famous ice cream stands. For more information visit www.giffordsicecream.com. Follow Gifford’s Ice Cream on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.