Back in 1952, The Schwan Food Company launched its home-delivery business with ice cream-the same product that the company is now bringing to customers through its first retail location.
The Marshall-based company on Wednesday opened its first-ever ice cream kiosk at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America.
The ice cream kiosk-which is run by Mall of America employees-offers several ice cream flavors, like chocolate chip cookie dough and butter pecan, as well as specialty flavors such as confetti cake. Other novelty treats are available, including Schwan's-branded ice cream sandwiches and vanilla sundae cones.
Schwan's spokesman Chuck Blomberg told Twin Cities Business that the kiosk has been in the works for about a year. He said that the company does not have immediate plans to open other kiosks in the other 47 states in which it operates, but it is "certainly a possibility" if the Mall of America location is successful.
Blomberg said that the company doesn't have any sales projections for the new initiative, adding that Schwan's executives think the kiosk is a great opportunity to get their brand in front of a large consumer base.
"The quality of Schwan's ice cream is well known to the millions of customers who receive our service throughout America, Kristy Griffin, Schwan's vice president of brand marketing, said in a statement. "Now, we are extremely excited to offer our signature product in a new and unique location like Mall of America."
Blomberg would not disclose what percentage of Schwan's annual revenue comes from ice cream sales but did say that it is one of the company's most popular products.
In addition to ice cream, The Schwan Food Company offers several other frozen products through its home-delivery business, including entrees, pizzas, appetizers, and other desserts. Schwan's also operates a consumer brands business and a food-service business.
The company employs about 17,000 people and is among the state's largest private companies based on revenue, which totaled an estimated $3.67 billion in 2009, the most recent time period for which data is available.