The award-winning country South Australian brand has been around since 1923, but locally is only available in major supermarkets Woolworths and Coles inside its home state, and just IGA stores in New South Wales. It has been keen to beat a path in Asia since it began exporting to China.
Within a year, it expects to be sending a container of its 2-litre ice cream tubs and 1.2-litre low-GI variety each month to Vietnam, in addition to the four it ships a year to China. The first 12,000-litre shipment to Ho Chi Minh City will set sail at the end of July.
“The plan is to widen the distribution,” marketing and export director Trevor Pomery told FoodNavigator-Asia. “We’ve been going in the eastern states for nearly two years, we’ve also been going offshore for about three years now, so we are exporting to different countries and we are still looking to expand that as well.”
In addition to China and now Vietnam, Golden North can also be found in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“We’re working on [this expansion] right now. China has a bit of potential for us—there’s a lot of people over there. We’re also talking to someone in Malaysia.”
The Vietnam deal has been 14 months in the making and began at a trade show in Singapore in May 2018.
In April, Golden North was voted Australia’s favourite ice cream for the second consecutive year, beating much larger brands including Peters, Bulla, Connoisseur, Blue Ribbon, Aldi and Ben & Jerry’s.
It came out on top in the categories of taste, consistency, variety and overall satisfaction following an independent customer survey by Canstar Blue of more than 1300 consumers nationally.
Pomery said the in-store product launch in Vietnam would include signage letting customers know that the ice cream voted Australia’s favourite two years in a row was now available.
“If you’ve never seen the brand before that’s a very good reason to give it a try,” he said. “We’ll do some sampling in store up there as well because you’ve got to get them to try it so then they can make their own decision and we think our product will stand on its own two feet once they taste it.”
The privately owned and operated ice cream manufacturer was established in 1923 at Laura, about 200km north of the South Australian capital Adelaide, where it still produces a range of ice cream flavours that are palm oil, nut and gluten free.
Its sales are approaching 14 million litres of ice cream a year. Flavours being sent to Vietnam include Vanilla, Vanilla Sundae, Rum & Raisin, Lemoncello and Spearmint Sundae.
“The ice cream market is growing over there and they were looking for an Australian product, it was a great opportunity and it was perfect timing. The trade show was right when they were looking for a new supplier,” Pomery said.
“It’s going into Ho Chi Minh City and then the customer has a number of outlets all over Vietnam. This particular customer has retail outlets in a number of countries so if we go well in Vietnam we might get into a couple of other places as well—that’s the hope.”