Print
Retail

Blue Bell Bounces Back Into Wilmington

By Vince Winkel, posted Dec 7, 2016
(Photo courtesy of Blue Bell Creameries)
Blue Bell Ice Cream, which first appeared in Wilmington in 2013 but then melted away after a health scare in 2015, is coming back to the area.
 
The Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries announced this week that it will be expanding its distribution area to include Wilmington and the surrounding cities beginning March 6.
 
“It has always been our goal to return to the Wilmington area, and we believe that we are in a great position to expand our sales territory next year,” said Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell in a news release. “In September, we began selling our ice cream in the central portion of North Carolina and had a very good response. With the addition of Wilmington, Blue Bell will now be available across most of the state.”
 
Blue Bell officials plan to reopen the company's distribution facility in Wilmington. “We have started hiring personnel and will continue to add more as needed over the next few months,” Dickson said.
 
Blue Bell initially came to the Cape Fear region in April 2013, with the opening of a transfer station at 3334 U.S. 421. The ice cream was available at Lowes Foods, Wal-Mart, various independent grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores.
 
In early 2015, however, it was discovered that listeria, a bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening infections, had contaminated some Blue Bell products.
 
On April 20 of that year, Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its products on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks.
 
As part of its efforts to combat the bacterial contamination, the company shut down its plants and its 23-state distribution network, which included a hub in Raleigh and a transfer station in Wilmington.
 
Since then, Blue Bell has slowly been bringing the business back. What was once a larger 23-state network is now in 16 states.
 
“We are currently in parts of 16 states and available at most major supermarkets,” said company spokeswoman Jenny Van Dorf. “We just re-entered Charlotte on Sept. 12 and expanded into Raleigh on Sept. 19. We look forward to adding the coastal area in March.”
 
“As we prepared for our return, we knew that it would take time to build inventory to re-enter the market. We began a five-phase re-entry plan in August of 2015,” she said. 
 
No store locations have been released at this time, but the company said ice cream fans can expect to find Blue Bell at most major supermarkets and drug stores when it returns to the area.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Hinnant

Brand Names in the Hospitality Industry

Chris Hinnant - Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, PLLC
Susan 2 april242017

Spring Cleaning

Susan Willett - Old North State Trust, LLC
Karagansmanncshlaw300x300

Estate Planning & Estate Administration Considerations for Bitcoin

Kara Gansmann - Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Trending News

New Firm Chooses Dutch Square Industrial Park Space For Headquarters

Cece Nunn - May 23, 2018

Live Oak Bank Launches Franchise Restaurant Lending Vertical

Jenny Callison - May 23, 2018

COO Of Wilmington Realtors' Group Hired As CEO Of San Antonio Association

Cece Nunn - May 23, 2018

Work To Begin Soon On Permanent Campus For Girls Leadership Academy Of Wilmington

Cece Nunn - May 24, 2018

Marina Grill Launches Riverfront Music Series

Jessica Maurer - May 23, 2018

In The Current Issue

Aquesta Bank Earnings Sharply On The Rise

“Our asset quality is good. What we have is a lot of growth,” said Jim Engel, Aquesta’s CEO and president, noting that the bank has seen “tr...


Novant Health Facilities Now Carry Naloxone

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center now carries naloxone, a medication used to temporarily reverse opioid overdose....


Addressing The Area’s Food Deserts

“If we can find a model that works, we would like to replicate what we can in other parts of Wilmington or the region,” said Scott Whisnant,...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast: The Main Event
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes