The ready ice: strategic product, also for retailers

Easy Ice cubes boast important sales trends and combine safety and quality. Travel in a fast-growing market

Cube with full cylinder, or crushed: ready ice works, in Large scale Distribution, because it responds to the need to buy a product immediately ready to use. The interest comes not only from consumers, but also from Horeca operators (who buy in large scale distribution). The company Premium Italia srl with two brands Ice Facile and Easy Ice has worked on format, safety and quality to “hop on the packaged ice train” and the trend that is growing in our country (it is estimated that within a few years Italy could reach a consumption of over 500,000 tons. Source: International and European Packaged Ice Association).

In this particular moment in which our habits will have to change, in addition to the two formats mentioned above, the company will soon come out with two innovative products (in packaging) that aim to meet the growing demand that comes from the habit of living at home and making the aperitif that was once consumed at the bar.

Typically the ready ice is placed either near the cash registers or in the frozen products department, or in the drinks department, to complete the offer. “The ideal customer – explains the sales director Federico Servadio – is the end user, plus bartenders and restaurants who need to cover an urgent need not guaranteed by the machines present in their premises”.

Unlike the DIY cubes, or those of the machines in the Horeca sector, the Ghaiccio Facile and Easy Ice products boast a strong cooling power and a high resistance to defrosting, therefore they do not water down drinks. “The credit,” says Josè Ramirez, Managing Director, “lies in the manufacturing process, during which the water – which comes from the municipal aqueduct directly from the Dolomite area, undergoes reverse osmosis and is deprived of salts. This guarantees a greater consistency of the ice. To guarantee the quality of our product is the Ifs Food certification. The water is controlled at the inlet and outlet; equally, controls are carried out on the conveyor belts. The same cannot always be said for the ice machines present in the premises”.

In order to make the product more and more in line with consumers’ wishes, Ghiaccio Facile collaborates with several Italian bartending schools, which provide valuable indications: for example: “The whole cube is much more appreciated than the hollow one, as it guarantees a better mixing of the preparation”.

The food ice business is now seasonally adjusted, although sales certainly increase in the summer period. For large scale distribution the item is quite new, but the numbers are growing significantly: buyers confirm that it is a product that acts as a driver and goes hand in hand with the beverage department and even when the product is on a poster, associated with a drink, sales increase five times over”, adds Ramirez.

To support the purchase and to make up for the congestion of products in frozen food tanks, the company supplies freezers with a capacity of 60, 90 or 170 kilos, characterized by an impactful layout that suggests the use of the product.

In addition to the Facebook and LinkedIn page, very active is the website, which act as a trait d’union between the points of sale where the product is present and the customers.

The signs that have inserted Ghiaccio Facile see sales growth with increases in sales of the product that reach 40%-50% compared to the previous year.

The company has a production capacity of 66,000 kilos of ice per day, it is the first Italian producer in terms of kilos produced and packaged, it also has a commercial headquarters in Rome. It has a total of 20 employees and the products are present in the large-scale distribution channel (60%) and in frozen food distributors (40%).

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