Food Trend Update: Europe’s Favorite Ice Cream Bar Makes U.S. Debut

Food Trend Update: Europe’s Favorite Ice Cream Bar Makes U.S. Debut

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Food Trend Update: Europe’s Favorite Ice Cream Bar Makes U.S. Debut

The Food Channel takes a bite of the super-premium, super-hyped ice cream bars

Watch out Häagen-Dazs, Klondike and Dove Bars, one of the most popular ice cream bars in the world, Magnum, has arrived in the USA and it aims to make its mark in a big way—at least judging by the splashy style in which it was unveiled last month in New York.

The premium chocolate covered bars made their debut during this spring’s Tribeca Film Festival, as designer Karl Lagerfeld and style-setting model/actress Rachel Bilson premiered an original film series to introduce America to Magnum ice cream bars. These “luxury” ice cream bars are a top seller in Europe and are said to be recognized around the world as a symbol of indulgent pleasure. The super-premium bars have been around for more than 20 years, but haven’t been available in the U.S. until now. They have just begun to hit supermarket freezers this month.

In the sensory-rich film series — now available to view online at www.magnumicecream.com — Rachel Bilson plays the heroine in three distinct vignettes. In the films Ms. Bilson portrays a discontented famous model who finds the pleasure she’s been seeking in the form of a Magnum ice cream bar, an art student obsessed by her strong desire for a Magnum ice cream bar, and a world-renowned ballerina who evades overzealous fans and a boyfriend to savor a moment for herself by enjoying a Magnum bar.

According to Unilever, the maker of Magnum, initial sales have been strong. “As one of the most popular ice creams in the world, we’re thrilled to see the overwhelmingly positive reception Magnum is already receiving in the U.S.,” said Brian Manning, Vice President of Brand Building in the ice cream division at Unilever.

The rollout is one of the Unilever’s biggest product launches in recent years. The consumer-product  giant, which also owns Ben & Jerry’s, Popsicle, Good Humor and Breyers, is the world’s biggest ice cream maker by market share—and the U.S. is the world’s largest ice cream market.

Magnum’s flavors include—

  • Classic – Vanilla bean ice cream dipped in a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate
  • Almond – Vanilla bean ice cream covered in a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate with crunchy almonds
  • Double Caramel – Vanilla bean ice cream enrobed in a luscious chocolatey coating, rich caramel sauce and thick Belgian milk chocolate
  • Double Chocolate Chocolate ice cream enrobed in a chocolatey coating, rich chocolatey sauce and thick Belgian milk chocolate
  • White – Vanilla bean ice cream dipped in a thick layer of Belgian white chocolate (available in select locations)
  • Dark – Vanilla bean ice cream dipped in 60% cacao Belgian dark chocolate (available in select locations)

So…just how good are the Magnum bars?

A taste panel of chefs and editorial staff at The Food Channel gave the bars a try, and, yes they are very, very good. The ice cream has a truly premium flavor, and the thick Belgian chocolate coating delivers an exceptional taste experience.

Our favorites flavors were the Double Chocolate—chocolate ice cream dipped in a chocolatey coating and Belgian milk chocolate, and the Almond, which had slivers of almonds mixed into its chocolate coating.

But are they better than Dove Bars and Häagen-Dazs? The general consensus was…no. On a par, yes. Better than? No.

So it may take a groundbreaking ad and PR campaign for Magnum to overtake Dove and H-D. You may have seen the new TV commercials, also starring Ms. Bilson, which do cut through the clutter quite well. And the Lagerfeld films are fun. So we’ll see.

Try them and see what you think. Then, let us know.

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