Comments /2993 Views / Wednesday, 4 May 2011 00:00
By Cheranka Mendis
Undisputed market leader in ice cream, Elephant House yesterday introduced iconic young cricketer Angelo Mathews as Brand Ambassador for the growing trade name which currently holds two thirds of the industry.
A 100% Sri Lankan brand, the tie-up represents carrying forward the brand name as a consistent, credible and dependable brand by associating it with an internationally recognised local person, a description that Mathews fits perfectly, according to Elephant House officials.
Coming out of a significant sales month (April) where the company dished out 21 million servings of ice cream, a record for the group, the ambassadorship will only serve to increase the amount of ice cream served to the people.
“It is great to have him endorsing us. It is an exciting time and the tie-up is an even more exciting one. This would reinforce our brand value as a good, wholesome and complete product. He (Angelo) is good for cricket and good for Sri Lanka; likewise he is good for our brand,” President Consumer Food Sector John Keells Holdings Jit Gunarathne said. “We will use him in the right way.”
Gunarathne told the Daily FT that while the market has seen a growth of 10-15% in 2010 over 2011, prospects for 2011 would be even better.
“We are now serving all island, including in the north and east. We have reached sections of the community where there have been restrictions of selling such products during the hard times. We have established a cold chain with deep freezers and other infrastructure in these areas and are confident that our volumes will grow in leaps and bound this year,” he asserted. He refrained from revealing the market target for the year.
A complete new line of products starting as low as Rs. 10 has been introduced to the new market section, he said. Stick items have become a hit in many areas, he added. “We will be bullish in the market this year.”
With over 40 different flavours in its product line, the brand will also look at introducing new flavours to the market. Gunarathne also commented that after the completion of a seven-year vanilla project, the vanilla used for its most popular ‘Vanilla Ice Cream’ is now 100% locally produced.
Mathews, who claimed that ‘Fruit N Nut’ was his all-time favourite, has signed a two-year contract where he will exclusively promote the Elephant House ice cream brand.
He had developed a love for the brand during his school days, when he is said to have “run to the tuck shop or kade” to buy an Elephant House ice cream after training, playing a match or simply when he was tired, Mathews said. “I am happy to be part of the team. I can connect with Elephant House not in one way, but in many ways.”
“The brand is full of energy and life and promises a celebration to everyone, whenever and wherever. I am very cautious about the brands with which I associate myself and I am excited to be part of a truly Sri Lankan brand such as Elephant House,” he added.
Prior to signing up with Mathews, the brand went solo for a few years minus an ambassador. However, cricketer Chaminda Vaas and Olympic athlete Susanthika Jayasinghe have been associated with the brand name in the past.
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