BRENHAM, TEXAS — Blue Bell Ice Cream is set to enter Phase Two of its five phase market re-entry plan on Nov. 2. Phase Two includes north central Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth and Waco areas) and north central and southern Oklahoma (Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas).
“We have experienced tremendous consumer response and support since our return to stores on Aug. 31,” said Ricky Dickson, vice-president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “This support, coupled with our current production capacity, has slowed our ability to enter additional distribution areas. We are working as hard as we can to keep stores in Phase One stocked without jeopardizing the new quality and safety procedures we have implemented to ensure our products are safe and of the highest quality.”
Currently Blue Bell Ice Cream is being made in Broken Arrow, Okla., and Sylacauga, Ala.
|Ricky Dickson, v.p. of sales and marketing for Blue Bell|
“We continue to make good progress and expect to begin production at our main plant in Brenham in the next few months,” Mr. Dickson said. “With our Broken Arrow plant now producing ice cream, we are confident that we can build enough inventory to enter Phase Two beginning Nov. 2. We do not have a date for any other phases at this time. As soon as we know that we can properly service the customers in an area with an adequate supply of Blue Bell Ice Cream we will move to the next phase.”
Phase Three is supposed to include Southwest Texas and central Oklahoma. Phase Four will include the majority of Texas and southern Louisiana, and Phase Five will include the rest of Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas and begin distribution in Arkansas, Florida, northern Louisiana and Mississippi. The fifth phase also will include only parts of the following states: Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
For now Blue Bell is producing five flavors of ice cream in the half gallon and pint sizes: Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide. More flavors will be added in the future. 12-pak Homemade Vanilla Cups and 12-pak Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate Cups are also available in stores.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported us during this time,” Mr. Dickson said. “Thank you for your patience as we work to return to our markets.”Back on April 20 Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily recalled all of its products in the wake of a Listeria outbreak that led to 3 deaths.