Fine diners across Australia are lapping up an ice cream range designed by a Swiss franchise for grown-ups with a sweet tooth.
Mövenpick’s boutiques offer dessert collections that feature chef secrets such as perfumed honey and cassis lavender reduction.
“We’re probably the only brand in the world that’s an adult ice cream,” Mövenpick country business manager Dennis Koorey told SmartCompany.
Since breaking into Australia in 2008, Mövenpick has grown to more than 25 franchised and corporate boutiques across the country. It also boasts 300 boutiques worldwide.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
While Mövenpick does not disclose its financial metrics, the launch of its latest boutique in the Sydney CBD launch in March had consumers in melt down.
The free ice cream launch saw a queue stretching out over more than a kilometre, something Koorey hasn’t seen at any of the Australian openings to date.
“It was amazing to see how many people were coming out of the offices, blowing off their lunch breaks and going back late to work,” he says.
The launch broke new records with the number of customers, Facebook followers and loyalty card requests, he says.
For the launch, dessert artisan Katherine Sabbath collaborated with Mövenpick to create a chocolate shortbread tartlet filled with a scoop of ice cream, topped with shards of dark chocolate and raspberry chocolate, and raspberry coulis.
Franchisee of Mövenpick Sydney CBD boutique Leonardo Da Costa decided to open his own boutique after falling in love with the ice cream on Bondi Beach.
“I had worked in our family’s hardware business in Brazil from the age of 14, and since being in Australia I’ve always wanted to own my business,” said De Costa in a statement.
“Mövenpick is a premium brand and I’m passionate about the product, and I love ice cream!”
So what is it about Mövenpick that appears to be striking a chord with Australian ice cream fans?
“People are looking for an experience, not just a product,” says Koorey.
Unlike many other ice cream chains that sell quick scoop cones and cups, Koorey says Mövenpick uses a completely different strategy of offering customers a full dine-in experience that’s exquisitely dessert.
But while Koorey says “your product should be the best”, he believes this must be backed with an exceptional dine-in experience with ambience, music, lighting and service.
“That’s what customers are demanding today especially in the desert dining business,” he says.
“Five years ago 90% of our sales were people buying ice cream and eating it while walking down the street [but] today we get just as many sales from people looking for a dine-in experience,” he says.
To create that experience Koorey says a “very strong” franchise system is essential – as is innovation.
At Mövenpick’s Swiss headquarters, there is a department of ice cream chefs led by a maître glacier whose primary role is innovation.
They come up with new flavours and dessert creations everyday, Koorey says.
“I’ve seen so many brands that started really well but faded really quickly because of the lack of innovation,” he says.
Koorey claims Mövenpick is fast acquiring the super premium category of the ice cream market.
And he hopes to emulate the brand’s success in Europe across Australia.
“Our vision is really to be the leading destination for the world’s finest ice cream.”