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Ice cream is a dessert that everyone seems to love. However, there is no doubt that it’s more challenging to sell when the weather is cold. So, does that mean that you should shelve this product during the winter months? Ben & Jerry’s might be one of the most famous ice cream brands in the world and the Vermont based business sets a good example in terms of selling ice cream all year round. And when it comes to winter, Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t back off – in fact, it’s at this time of year that the ice cream pioneer has historically gone into overdrive.

The Ben & Jerry’s case study

Ben & Jerry’s is a business that probably understands more than most what the challenges are when it comes to selling a frozen food when everything around you is freezing cold too. However, the brand has consistently taken a robust approach to marketing during the winter months and has actually often been more active around this time. Ever since the business began in 1978 it has demonstrated a sound understanding of what it takes to market ice cream, from the first-ever Free Cone Day it established to celebrate a year of trading to creating the world’s largest sundae, which weighed in at 27,102 pounds. So, what can we learn from Ben & Jerry’s when it comes to selling ice cream in the winter months?

Sell at food fairs and festivals

Interest in food doesn’t wane just because the weather gets colder and you can find plenty of foodie events still happening all over the country. Food fairs, festivals and seasonal events around Christmas and New Year all offer an opportunity to help expose your ice cream product to a new audience.

Offer discounts and promotions

Ben & Jerry’s proved to be enthusiastic discounters and promoters over the years and came up with some genius ideas to help market their product, even in challenging times. One of these was POPCDBZWE – Penny Off Per Celsius Degree Below Zero Winter Extravaganza –, which offered increasing discounts the lower temperatures fell. This became one of the most written about promotions the brand ever ran.

Sell winter flavours

While flavours like lemon or strawberry might be associated with the summer there are lost of tastes that make people think of winter. Spiced pumpkin, warming apple or even Christmas pudding or mince pie flavour ice cream are seasonally appropriate and likely to appeal when it comes to sales.

Develop some engaging marketing

Storytelling is an art that Ben & Jerry’s really mastered and is something that can help any business to sell at any time of year. For example, one year Ben & Jerry’s used as a basis for their winter marketing the theory that a difference between your internal temperature and the external temperature was the reason you feel cold. So, if you lower your internal temperature (by eating ice cream) you’re much less likely to feel the chill.

There are lots of ways to sell ice cream during the winter months and Ben & Jerry’s is a great inspiration for how to do it effectively.