Haagen-Dazs ice cream sets up shop in Kenya

Saturday December 2 2017

Haagen-Dazs ice cream at the launch in Nairobi.

Haagen-Dazs ice cream at the launch in Nairobi. PHOTO | KARI MUTU 

By KARI MUTU
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Haagen-Dazs, one of the world’s top ice cream makers, has set up shop in Kenya.

A survey by Kalon Kapital, the local distributor, found that 80 per cent of ice cream consumers in the country wanted Haagen-Dazs introduced locally.

“Haagen-Dazs products contain no artificial flavours, colours or additives,” a statement by Kalon Kapital stated at the launch last week.

Haagen-Dazs has low air volume that gives it a dense richness. The manufacturers use real fruit, not fruit flavours or purees. The strawberries come from Poland, the vanilla from Madagascar, the coffee from Brazil and the high butterfat in the milk is sourced from dairy farms in France.

Twelve flavours are available at the moment; they include Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Leaves with Chocolate. The Salted Caramel, my favourite, is a delicious blend of savoury and sweet. I also enjoyed the Macadamia Nut Brittle.

Of the fruit-flavoured options, I liked the light and fruity mango-raspberry. The strawberry ice cream has a natural colour, but it was a little too sweet for my palate.

Blueberries and Cream was less sugary. The Belgian Chocolate has a rich flavour and pieces of chocolate in it, and the Vanilla and Cream has a natural taste and velvety texture.

Haagen-Dazs is artisanal ice cream made for adult consumers, but also has flavours that children will enjoy.

Kalton Kapital plans to introduce more flavours including sorbets and dairy free options. Their top competitors in Kenya will be London Dairy, Mars, Snickers, Coldstone Creameries and Delia’s, a local ice cream brand.

Haagen-Dazs pints, mini-cups and ice cream sticks are currently retailing at various supermarkets in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nanyuki, with plans to increase the distribution to the rest of the country.

The company was founded in 1961 by Reuben Mattus, a Polish immigrant to America, when he could not find an ice cream that he liked. His mission was to use the best ingredients for an ice cream that people would willingly pay extra for.