Chris Reed
Jan 22, 2014

Magnum vs Haagen Dazs in battle to be King Cone

Unilever and General Mills have opened up a new battle line in Singapore: Pop up ice cream cafes.

Magnum vs Haagen Dazs in battle to be King Cone

It’s a great idea from two iconic brands in Singapore. Why bother with a retail outlet in a freezing cold mall when you could have a pop up shop outside a mall in all that heat to escape from the humidity and sun.

Who was first though? They both appeared at the same time just before Christmas and are continuing the battle into Chinese New Year. Either they both had the same idea at the same time or one jumped the gun and found out about what the other one was doing and copied it. Either way they both look remarkably similar in colour, style and content.

Unilever’s Magnum have copied their sister brand Ben and Jerrys and competitors Haagen Dazs in opening up dedicated venues. There is clearly a lucrative market to be both the retailer and the supplier in this context.

Both brands have realised that to engage Singapore’s massive ice cream market (with 365 days a year at 30ºC to 35ºC and humidity of 80 to 90 per cent every day, Singapore is the perfect market for year sales). Both brand’s offering is surprising not that different. They have though both been delighting customers with a full range of branded drinks and desserts.

While Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs have always had outlets they have tended to be dedicated, fixed franchises in malls (which in Singapore are colder than the ice cream). These new pop-up shops have been positioned in places like the iconic and very busy Orchard Road and less busy but still vibrant Raffles City to capitalise on the increase of shopping traffic around Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day and the most important of all festivals in Singapore, Chinese New Year.

Pop up restaurants follow the trend of pop-up shops to bring the brand experience to consumers in short bursts and seasonally. They bring the brand to life through the ultimate test of taste and brand ambience. By doing pop-up outlets for Magnum (who don’t have dedicated fixed cafes/retail outlets anywhere else in Singapore) they are tapping into the brand loyalty of Magnum to Singaporean residents and tourists.

Both brands are also accentuating very positive word of mouth and the high regard that both brands are seen to be perceived in in Singapore. Interestingly both the Magnum Pleasure Seeker House (yes they really called it that) and the Haagen Daz House (yes they really called it that) are remarkably similar in look and feel.

Let the coolest brand win.

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