With frozen Greek style yogurt that’s created to be nutritious as well as delicious, Cavan company Ice Cream Treats has scooped up the innovation prize at this year’s National Enterprise Awards.
Now selling in 200 SuperValu stores around Ireland, Yomega3 is high in both Omega 3 and Vitamin D.
Company founder Gerry Sheridan says it’s the only frozen yogurt product with this kind of health benefit.
“It won best ice cream and frozen yogurt a world Diary Innovation award in 2017 and is now attracting interest from markets around the globe.”
The company was set up in 2013 when Mr Sheridan had another innovative idea, to bring a full ice cream parlour concept into the convenience market — and create not just one ice cream parlour, but a chain of mini ice cream parlours for multiple stores.
While running an ice cream parlour in Dublin in 2012, he had set up a pop up one for the Fleadh Ceoil in Cavan.
“It worked so well I decided there would be a niche in the market for a full ice cream concept providing scooped as well whipped ice cream.
“The idea was to bring some theatre and colour to convenience retail stores,” said Mr Sheridan, noting that there has been a growing popularity of American style ice cream parlours in recent years.
He pitched his idea to Musgrave Group, who agreed to a trial involving a mini ice cream parlour in one store using Ice Cream Treats product.
To supply the ice cream, Mr Sheridan set up a facility in Cavan with a staff of two in early 2013, securing some grant aid for equipment from Cavan Local Enterprise Office. By the end of 2013, Ice Cream Treat was supplying ice cream to 30 stores and the number has since grown to 200 including Centras.
In 2017, the Musgrave and Ice Cream Treat partnership developed the ice cream parlour concept further by giving it brand identity and calling it Moo’d Ice cream, as a play on the feel good factor of ice cream and where it comes from.
Now it has a range of 20 flavours, which include the traditional tried and tasted vanilla and chocolate chip as well as more adventurous ones such as blue raspberry and bubbilicious.
Earlier this year, the company started selling Moo’d ice cream in take home packs to SuperValu and later this summer, will be supplying its first mini ice cream parlour in a SuperValu in Northern Ireland.
Achieving significant growth with ice cream sales to Musgraves, Mr Sheridan decided in 2016 that it was time for Ice Cream Treats to develop its own branded offering. “We wanted to create something different from other products on the market, to give it functional benefits and to make it delicious.”
Yomega 3, the company’s Greek-style frozen yogurt, was launched at the International Food and Drinks Exhibition in London in March 2017.
Since then, it has been listed in 200 SuperValus and also in Spinney’s retail stores in Dubai and with FairPrice retail stores in Singapore.
“We now have trials with a large UK hotel group ’ said Mr Sheridan adding that Yomega3 will also go on sale in some Tesco stores this summer.
Planning to grow sales of both Moo’d ice cream and of Yomega3, Ice CreamTreats is preparing for expansion.
In the next few weeks, it will move from its facility in Cavan Enterprise Centre in Killygarry, where it employs a staff of 10, to a larger 6,000 sq ft one in Killeshandra.
“The facility will double our capacity and allow us to develop exports of Yomega3,” said Mr Sheridan, who expects to grow sales by 50% this year and take on an additional three staff."