Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 82
low-quality product. Allen says the company's commitment
to driving down costs enables it to keep prices low for all
consumers. The inexpensive price - $2.16 for a bag of 18 at
many retailers - means that families at any income level can
enjoy the treats.
Ziegenfelder keeps those prices low by closely watching its spending. The company buys sugar ahead of time
to avoid price hikes, and employees frequently ﬁll multiple
roles. Allen recounts a recent meeting with a marketing ﬁrm
that was shocked to learn that Ziegenfelder's social media
person also handled graphic design, public relations, marketing and photography. "We really get a lot out of our organization where we can."
That careful hold on spending gives Ziegenfelder the ﬂexibility to keep prices low even when supplier costs increase.
Take for example the sugar shortage of 2012. Many ice pop
producers immediately raised prices to adjust for higher
sugar costs, but Ziegenfelder waited until after the summer
selling season to increase the price of its pops. Allen says
the move didn't make much ﬁnancial sense, but customers
appreciated the delay. "We believe in our consumers and
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doing everything we can to keep the price where they can
afford it," he adds.
Most companies in the market are ice cream makers that
have a side business in ice pops. Ziegenfelder is a purely ice
pop business. As such, the company is focused on its core
product line, recognizing the products that are outside the
company's core competencies.
Sometimes that means letting go of a market. This year,
Ziegenfelder is ending its line of fudge and orange cream
pop products. Making those items required a different process than the company's core water ice products and put a
strain on employees. Eliminating the line will allow the company to better streamline water ice production. "By getting
out of cream and fudge we'll be able to run our equipment
more efﬁciently," Allen notes.
Even as it gets rid of two product lines, Ziegenfelder continues to look at what's next. The company is introducing two
new products this year: Fan Favorite, a single-ﬂavor package
that will start with blue pops but rotate to other colors in future editions; and a complete bag of root beer-ﬂavored pops.
Further, the company is bringing its popular Red, White
and Berry Blast pops to Dollar General stores. The move
will not only increase the distribution of the American-ﬂag
colored pops to 14,000 new locations, but it will heighten
the company's charitable efforts. A percent of each sale is
donated to Operation Homefront, an organization that supports military families. Ziegenfelder has given an average of
$25,000 to Operation Homefront in recent years and stands
to donate even more with the introduction of Red, White and
Berry Blast to Dollar General.
Staying competitive in the food industry means staying on
top of trends - including consumer demand for more natural
ingredients and healthier choices. Budget $aver twin pops
have only 42 calories per serving, but Allen says some customers are put off by the use of high fructose corn syrup and
Ziegenfelder experimented with an organic pop product
a few years ago in Aldi stores, but Ziegenfelder's facilities
were not properly conﬁgured to handle the product at the
time so it was eventually dropped. With the natural food
craze seemingly here to stay, Allen says Ziegenfelder is
testing the idea again. "It may be something we do in a few
years but we're not doing it today," he adds.
Still, it's an example of how the company is willing to try
new things and innovate while adhering to its legacy as a
budget-minded treat for everyone. "You got to be thinking,
'What's the next thing?'" Allen says.