“Seriously Good” Ice Cream
Let me introduce you to the newest ice cream to hit the Vancouver market by storm: Earnest Ice Cream! What makes this ice cream different? Well for starters, it’s locally made in Vancouver, which reduces the environmental costs and carbon emissions related to product transportation. Earnest Ice Cream proprietors, Ben and Erica, also use local ingredients whenever possible, which inspires their seasonal flavor offerings. The other unique feature of their ice cream is the packaging. Single pints are packed into re-usable glass mason jars. Upon purchase, customers pay $9 for a pint, plus a $1 deposit for the jar. Once customers finish their ice cream, they can return the jar in exchange for their initial deposit, or save up 10 jars, and get a free pint of ice cream. Earnest can then sterilize and re-use the returned jars to package their next batch of ice cream. This is a great example of a small business initiating a Take-Back Pricing Strategy. Theirs works just like the deposit fees associated with bottled beverages. Of course, customers may find it more convenient or beneficial to find an alternative use for the empty mason jars, which would be considered just as sustainable. After all, nothing screams trendier in 2013 than a glass mason jar! If you prefer your ice cream in sandwich form, you’re in luck, because they sell those too during farmer’s markets! The ice cream sandwiches are packaged in biodegradable paper, and are served right from the cooler of Earnest’s ice cream tricycle. Now that’s old school with a twist!
I wonder how many customers buy Earnest with the company’s local and sustainability factors in mind? Their product is pretty on trend right now, joining other local standouts with similar values such as Cartems Donuterie (who happens to be their kitchen co-resident at Woodland Smokehouse Commissary, and was founded by a UBC alum). Some consumers may be drawn to such products based merely on the popularity, hopping on the “eat-local” bandwagon, without truly knowing the resources that justify a $9 jar of ice cream (conspicuous consumption anyone?). Of course, there are some consumers (like me) who would splurge a couple of times, because this stuff is delicious! Now what about you? Would you buy it?