A single scoop of Gelato Messina is now $6.20, and the brand hopes its social media strategy will sweeten the sour news

Messina

Gelato Messina. Source: Supplied.

Cult gelato chain Gelato Messina has once again informed customers of a price hike, hoping an up-front explanation of mounting inflationary pressures won’t leave a bad taste for some of Australia’s biggest sweet tooths.

Taking to social media Wednesday afternoon, Gelato Messina announced rising input costs led the brand to increase the price of its lauded gelatos and sorbets.

The cost of a single scoop is now $6.20, the company said, while a family-sized 1.5 litre tub will now set consumers back $34.

“We know everyone is talking about inflation as a blanket reason for price increases, but the truth is pretty much all of our ‘input costs’ have increased incredibly,” a spokesperson said.

“Many of our ingredient costs like sugar, butter, cream, etc. (ie. our ‘cost of goods’) have all gone up exponentially, with some items doubling in price.”

The rising cost of energy — a major factor for a company reliant on fridges and freezers — contributed to the increase, the company said, while noting the cost of packaging and freight have also grown in recent months.

“In saying all of this, our prices are still extremely competitive and we like to think we make some of the highest quality gelato, cakes and chocolate in Australia, if not the world,” the company said.

“We hope you agree.”

This is not the first time Gelato Messina has chosen to explain its price-hiking decisions to the company’s fanbase.

In 2015, a Facebook post penned by company founder Declan Lee detailing a new price hike received a warm welcome from fans, who applauded the up-front explanation.

“It’s not rocket science, it’s just us being honest,” Lee told SmartCompany at the time.

“You can’t be caught out if you’ve got nothing to hide.”

Like the 2015 post, customers have accepted Gelato Messina’s most recent invitation to ask the brand about its decision.

Facebook user Kelsey O’Brien asked why prices were rising when Gelato Messina operates its own dairy farm in Victoria, shielding the company from some of the price variations afflicting the broader dairy market.

The answer: while the company has its milk needs sorted, “we do not currently have enough cows to produce our own cream/butter just yet but it most definitely is on the cards for the future”.

Another user asked whether the brand would boost staff wages as a result of the price hike. Workers across Gelato Messina’s 23 Australian stores will not receive a pay bump through the price increases, the spokesperson said.

“The price increase we have implemented averages to about a 7% increase across the board which if we just passed along to our staff we wouldn’t be negating the margin loss we are suffering due to inflation anyway.”

“There’s probably a much bigger conversation to be had here about the past economic damage which has been done under previous governments + macroeconomic factors but we’ll leave that for another day,” the brand added.

The brand update comes amid a torrid period for Australian hospitality businesses, whose revenue growth through the year has been offset by brutal input cost increases.

A slew of famous hospitality businesses have closed their doors in recent months or plan to in the weeks ahead, given the headwinds facing the sector.

But for now, it appears the gelato brand’s most loyal customers are willing to cop the latest price increases

“If it means you get to keep the doors open, I’m happy to pay a little more,” one user said.

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