Fanci Freez® Restaurants unveil industry first – CPG Soft-Serve Milkshakes in the grocery freezer aisle

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Embarking on a trail-blazing journey of culinary ingenuity, Fanci Freez, a beloved restaurant brand with locations in Boise, Idaho, and Meridian, Idaho, has teamed up with Pivot North Consulting / PNC Specialty Foods (Arizona) to redefine the consumer experience.

Elevating its renowned milkshakes from local acclaim to a product positioned for national distribution, Fanci Freez introduces a pioneering concept with its’ frozen enjoy-at-home soft-serve milkshakes.

While Fanci Freez Restaurants has landed on Best of Boise’s Winner’s List year after year, now the brand is flying out of retail freezer cases in select stores with its’ innovative CPG product line.

Why milkshakes? Fanci Freez owner, Bill Hawes, provides his insight on why it was important to debut with this very popular menu item: “People love our milkshakes enough that we thought we would open a third location of Fanci Freez. It was right about that time that Gail Kurpgeweit from PNC called with a completely new idea. She knew how we could take our shakes to market in a unique way that would capitalise on a new market segment.”

Patent-pending technology was required to accomplish bringing a soft-serve milkshake product to the grocery aisle. Soft-serve ice cream is served at temperatures in the -8°C to -5°C range, while grocery store freezers are kept in the -21°C to -16°C range. Until now, they have been incompatible. However, the PNC-developed, patent-pending packaging allows consumers to enjoy this creamy, decadent ice cream treat at home – just microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and enjoy.

When developing this technology, Mr Hawes was committed to maintaining the integrity of the beloved milkshakes and tasked Pivot North’s R&D team with finding a way to package the product without adding chemicals or additives.

“I believe our restaurant and retail product success is attributable to sticking with quality products and ingredients,” Mr Hawes said. “Quality is a top priority for us in everything we do.”

Fanci Freez partnered exclusively with Albertsons for the debut launch of its groundbreaking product. Launched in June of 2023, Fanci Freez Milkshakes are now readily available in select Boise-area Albertsons stores, bringing a taste of the beloved Fanci Freez experience to households throughout the community. The relationship between Fanci Freez and Albertsons continues to grow, with expansion to new doors planned in Q1 of this year.

“We are committed to supporting our Retail partners by driving traffic into their locations with innovative, high-demand products and strong marketing, merchandising and in-store demo programmes,” said Gail Kurpgeweit, Founder and CEO of Pivot North Consulting / PNC Specialty Foods. “We look at Retailer shelves as highly valuable real estate – once we’re on the shelf, it’s our job to move product quickly and profitably for all stakeholders involved. Getting on the shelf is just the first step – staying there, and gaining territory, takes a massive commitment to consumers, our Retailer partners, and the food brands we represent.”

The success of Fanci Freez’s soft-serve milkshakes has paved the way for expansion outside the Boise, Idaho area. The brand is currently positioned for distribution into retail stores in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Washington just in time for the 2024 ice cream season.