Denali Announces Really Sweet Deal

June 11, 2004
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WAYLAND — The outcome of a licensing agreement that Denali Flavors Inc. secured with Tootsie Roll Industries last fall will hit the market soon.

Denali Flavors, a Wayland-based ice cream developer and marketer of Moose Tracks ice cream, will debut two new ice-cream products in grocery stores and other outlets across the country this month that incorporate the textures and tastes of Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pops.

The agreement marks the first time that Tootsie Roll Industries has offered the Tootsie Roll outside of its trademark wrapper.

“The soft and chewy Tootsie Roll is a natural flavor for ice cream and for America’s craving for treat-laden flavors,” said Neal Glaeser, president of Denali Flavors.

“Our challenge was finding a way to keep the Tootsie Roll soft, and we did it. Our ice cream and their candy is a winning combination, and we are pleased that Tootsie Roll Industries worked with us to make the Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pops our newest flavors,” he added.

Glaeser said treat-laden ice cream flavors are the fastest growing category of ice cream. The company’s Moose Tracks, created in 1991 and now worth about $40 million annually in sales, grew the fastest for much of the 1990s. It now outsells some brands of the old-standby vanilla and its sales success actually laid the foundation for the creation of Denali Flavors in 1996.

Denali also provides product development and marketing support for independent ice cream makers who produce regional and store-branded products. Today, the firm holds 11 contracts with ice cream makers to produce both Tootsie products, which should be on the market any day.

Last year, Denali Flavors worked with Charms, a division of Tootsie Roll Industries, to develop Andes Crème de Menthe specialty ice cream and Andes Crème de Menthe ice cream sandwiches.

“You can expect to see many more creative ice creams like Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pops from Denali Flavors as we continue to feed America’s fascination with ice cream,” said Glaeser, whose company produces more than 30 flavors.

In 2002, total U.S. sales of ice cream and frozen desserts reached $20.5 billion, down slightly from the previous year when sales finished at $20.7 billion. Of the 2002 total, $8.1 billion was spent on products for consumption at home and $12.5 billion was spent in retail and other outlets.

The U.S. produces about 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream a year. Premium brands account for 51 percent of sales in supermarkets, regular is next with 45 percent, while super-premium is third with 3.5 percent of store sales.

Tootsie Roll Industries, headquartered in Chicago, had $393 million in net sales last year, making it one of the nation’s leading candy companies.

“We are excited to introduce the classic Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pop as frosty treats,” said Melvin Gordon, chairman and CEO of Tootsie Roll Industries.

“Denali Flavors has created two instant successes with these ice creams, and we look forward to seeing the Tootsie Roll brand extended to another fun food category.”           

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