- Halo Top Creamery/Facebook
- Halo Top is a low-calorie, low-sugar ice cream brand which is immensely popular across the globe.
- The best-selling flavours vary in different countries, which reveals a lot about how tastes differ.
- The brand’s co-founder told INSIDER there will be UK-specific flavours rolling out in 2019.
Over the past few years, Halo Top has emerged as the leader in the “lighter” ice cream market, giving creamy, full-fat alternatives a run for their money.
The low-calorie, low-sugar ice cream dominates the market in the US – it became the best-selling ice cream in America in 2017 – and as the brand expands, it’s making inroads across the globe.
Seemingly unbelievable lack of calories aside (a whole tub is around 280-360 calories, compared to about 1,150 calories for the same amount of Ben & Jerry’s), one of Halo Top’s main selling points is its creative flavours.
- Halo Top
Whilst classics like vanilla, strawberry, and mint choc chip are of course on offer, Halo Top also comes in more unusual variations such as red velvet, peanut butter and jelly, birthday cake, smores, chocolate almond crunch, pancakes and waffles, and chocolate covered banana.
However, the best-selling flavour varies across each of the 12 countries Halo Top is available in.
Halo Top’s President and COO Doug Bouton told INSIDER that in the US, the most popular flavour is peanut butter cup.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Brits’ favourite is sea salt caramel, while Australians love birthday cake the most and chocolate chip cookie dough is no.1 in Canada.
The brands other markets are too new to have reliable data yet.
Tailoring their range to each country is of the utmost importance to the brand, which is why you see different flavours on offer in each market.
Halo Top launched in the UK at the beginning of January 2018 and is now available in nearly all major retailers.
“The response from the UK fans has been one of those hyper growth curves and we just want to keep the momentum going,” Bouton said.
“There will be products and flavours in the UK that the US doesn’t have. We don’t want to be arrogant Americans who think everything that works in the US will work in the UK, for marketing and branding too.”
- Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDER
Bouton said Halo Top will be unveiling these UK-specific new flavours this year.
“In 2019 we’re going to create more country-specific flavours,” he said. “We know that there are flavours in the UK that make no sense in the US but would work here [in the UK]. We’re trying to find UK-specific flavours.”
Whether this could mean an ice cream flavoured like jam and clotted cream, rhubarb and custard, or Eton mess remains to be seen.
Continually launching new flavours is a priority for Halo Top to ensure they stay ahead of their increasing number of competitors.
“We created the market, we were the first brand,” Bouton said. “It validates what you’ve created that the other players are coming into the market.
“At the same time, we have to just focus on what we do. How do we stay ahead, how do we innovate with new flavours, new products that still have the wow factor that the original Halo Top has? That’s key. If you start worrying about what other people are doing you’re going to stop focusing on what you do.”
He added: “We’re very aware of these knock-offs, but we just try to focus on staying multiple steps ahead so they’re always copying us as opposed to us following them.”
After launching its first soft-serve stores in LA, Halo Top hopes to open more branches this year too, and is exploring the best way to do so.
“Retail is totally different to wholesale, but we did it because the soft-serve product is incredible,” Bouton said. “The texture is perfect, it’s immediately soft. It’s really really good.”