August 18, 2015

#BlueBell is coming back ... are you buying?

Ice cream pints being filled at Blue Bell's Oklahoma plant before it
shut down this spring. Steve Campbell/Fort Worth Star Telegram
Blue Bell Creameries announced this week that it will start a limited rollout of its ice cream on Aug. 31. Its Alabama plant reopened a few weeks ago; its Texas and Oklahoma plants are still closed.

First, unless that original Brenham plant opens quickly, you've got the goofiness of Blue Bell ice cream being IMPORTED to Texas, since it will be included on the Aug. 31 rollout.

Second, are you buying?

I'm not.

First of all, I've never really bought into the Blue Bell mystique. The "little creamery" is great PR marketing, but pretty much BS otherwise, as far as reality. I don't think it's anything special as far as an ice cream; in fact, since living in H-E-B supermarket territory, I've thought H-E-B's premium house brand is ... wait for it ... better. Otherwise, Breyer's makes a pretty decent, not too pricey, gelato.

Second, unless Sid Bass' investment money has the end result of booting current CEO Paul Kruse, a third-generation family CEO at the privately held company, out the door, don't expect me to rush to start buying. I think Blue Bell needs new blood at the top. I think Kruse and an inner circle expanded Blue Bell too quickly without quality control, failed to take seriously a six-year history of listeria concerns, and thought they could spin, spin, spin with that "little creamery" type PR.

And, probably didn't share the job pain when Blue Bell imploded.

So, I don't know what the ice cream equivalent of "shitburger sandwich" is, but it's probably being manufactured in Brenham, Texas.


Daniel A. Kaufman said...

Why on earth would I buy Blue Bell, when there is Haagen Dazs?

Gadfly said...

Dan, as I noted, give Breyer's gelato a shot. It's really good, and less expensive than Haagen Dazs. I love the triple chocolate, and the raspberry cheesecake.