Brrrrrr….For the last 50 years ICEE and Slush Puppie have been enjoyed by millions of people across the world. Known as “the coldest drink in town”, the slush drink company changed the game by offering a variety of quality flavors for all to enjoy. Stance presents its ICEE and Slush Puppie collection featuring 2 medium cushion ICEE, and Slush Puppie branded socks. We sat down with Vice President of Marketing, Natalie Peterson to learn more about the ICEE and Slush Puppie history, and where they are headed.
How were the ICEE and Slush Puppie brands thought of?
The ICEE product itself was invented when a convenience store owner realized that consumers went wild for semi frozen bottles of soda, and it sparked the invention of the 1st ICEE machine. While Slush type products existed, they were in no way as exciting as the brand new frozen carbonated Beverage called ICEE. Unlike slushes, ICEE is carbonated, possessing the zesty, tingly taste associated with popular soft drinks. Combining that with a frozen texture like fresh fallen snow and delicious Cola and Fruity Flavors, ICEE became an instant winner. Another unique feature that sets ICEE way apart from Slush is that it stacks high above the cup, yet you can drink it through a straw.
ICEE has been around for over 50 Years! In fact, we celebrated the 50th “ICEE-versary” of the ICEE company in 2017. ICEE of Los Angeles, with only five employees, started business becoming the newest of a relatively small group of franchised ICEE companies operating across the United States. ICEE is Basically made from the same ingredients as popular carbonated soft drinks, ICEE was produced in a much different soft frozen form by a special patented “ICEE machine”. When dispensed, the unique ICEE product would stack high above the cup in brilliant colors, yet you could drink it through a straw. All these years later, ICEE is still the fastest way to be transported back to your care-free Childlike wonder days, It’s a “Kid in a Cup” and Full Color FUN! It is like a vacation in a cup. We also like to call it the Space mountain of frozen beverages. Its thrilling and fun.
SLUSH PUPPiE was founded in 1970 , the pup celebrated its 50th Bday last year and is the original and most powerful non-carbonated frozen treat. Fans have fond memories of creating their own unique SLUSH PUPPiE drinks by squirting in an assortment of bright and fun flavors, which is repeated generation after generation. It takes you back to carefree lazy days at the campground , at the pool , or sliding down a slip n slide. Before SLUSH PUPPiE, “slushes” were no-name with no brand identification, and mostly “home made” with no consistent quality. SLUSH PUPPiE changed all that, bringing with it a brand that slush lovers could relate to with assurance of the highest quality of frozen delicious flavors. While ICEE is the number one brand of frozen carbonated beverage, its un-carbonated close cousin SLUSH PUPPiE is the hero of that category. SLUSH PUPPiE is by far the most popular slush and fully owns its own type of excitement and Powerful Pup Appeal.
Where did you first sell your products and where do you offer them now?
ICEE initially began being sold in convenience stores, which is still a key channel where consumers can find ICEE and an assortment of flavors. Today, ICEE is found in movie theaters, amusement parks, trampoline parks, zoos, festivals, mass merchandisers, grocery stores, quick service restaurants and family dining!
What makes ICEE so special is that we feel it becomes part of these outings. Our fans tell us that a movie experience is not complete without a big bucket of popcorn and a giant ICEE.
SLUSH PUPPiE is sold in convenience stores, campgrounds, seasonal aquatic centers, restaurants and more!
How do you go about creating new flavors? What’s the process like?
We are constantly watching the latest trends to come up with the most delicious and refreshing ICEE flavors possible. Some of our recent innovations have included ICEE Mermaid, ICEE ELF, ICEE Baby Narwhal, ICEE Llamacorn, and Red, White and BOOM! We also offer a delicious variety of lemonade each summer – something that is a big fan favorite. We have a really innovative R&D lab in the ICEE HQ, where we have the ICEE Bear personally approve each and every flavor. Recently, ICEE has even developed a new machine that lets you mix in flavors and create up to 32 different combinations out of one machine! You can find ICEE as a full-on dessert too, in many retailers, topping it with treats, candy and other fun toppings.
What made you want to team up with Stance on a collaboration?
Design Plus, our global licensing partner, recommended Stance to us. Stance is best in class for socks, so who else would we want to partner with to put our Iconic Slush PUPPiE Pup and the ICEE Bear on some socks? We can't wait to see the fans rocking them.
What is ahead for the ICEE/ Slush Puppie brands?
The future is bright... and cold and frozen! With (2) 50 year old brands that are still growing and beloved by the world, we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. Look out for more ICEE than ever before in your favorite drive thru and fave family dining restaurant. We also may have some exciting new product launches from our parent company, J&J Snack Foods (manufacturer of the famous Super Pretzel, among a huge variety of other treats and snack foods). Keep your eye out for some exciting ICEE items in the freezer and grocery aisle.