Now that spring is here and stores are replacing blazers with bikinis, those late night ice cream splurges don’t seem quite as appealing. That is, unless you are indulging in Arctic Zero Fit Frozen Desserts. At a mere 150 – 300 calories per pint, you can polish off the entire container with zero guilt!
Arctic Zero is the brainchild of Greg Holtman, who as a child remembers caring for his type-1 diabetic mother. Motivated by his mother’s love of sweets, Greg set out to create a functional, yet indulgent dessert made with premium ingredients you can understand. I had a chance to sit down and speak with their incredibly bright and charismatic CEO, Amit Pandhi.
You have carved out a very unique niche in the frozen desert category and established impressive distribution. How did retailers initially respond to your fit frozen positioning? Was it ever a hard sell?
From the start, retailers saw something different in ARCTIC ZERO than options that were already on the shelf. With so many product attributes, ARCTIC ZERO made a great option for so many different consumers from those looking for a post-workout snack, watching their weight or following a special diet, which retailers identified and understood. As a low glycemic, lactose free, gluten free and GMO free frozen dessert, ARCTIC ZERO was a natural fit for anyone looking to taste the sweet life with zero guilt. Our brand initially arrived in the natural space at Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market before making its way to more traditional and mass-market grocery retailers, including Kroger, Publix, Safeway and Walmart.
Was there a specific retail partner or strategic initiative that really established Arctic Zero as a category leader?
A retail partner that really helped ARCTIC ZERO gain distribution was Amazon. While Amazon now delivers groceries to customers around the country, back in 2010, they didn’t offer any frozen or refrigerated products for delivery. With ARCTIC ZERO being so unique, Amazon felt we served as the perfect product to test frozen distribution through its shipping channel. With that, we partnered with Amazon to offer customers our frozen desserts delivered directly to their doorstep. This partnership gave ARCTIC ZERO national distribution, making a local brand available to consumers in all 50 states. With the addition of ARCTIC ZERO to Amazon, we experienced an overwhelming flood of orders from across the country – up to 300 per day! Today, even with increased distribution through tens of thousands of stores, Amazon still remains a number one retailer for us.
Your new packaging is excellent and does a great job establishing your positioning. What other initiatives have successfully increased consumer awareness of your brand?
Thank you! Our new look has been years in the making and we’re excited to finally be able to share with our fans on shelves. We use premium ingredients in all of our Fit Frozen Desserts and strived to have the outside of the pint match what’s on the inside. To help increase brand awareness and encourage trial as we continue to grow, we employ a variety of marketing strategies that focus on truly engaging with our current fan base and potential fans. Our marketing team is hard at work reaching our networks through a variety of tactics, including social, traditional and digital media, events and more.
You’ve expanded into frozen novelties – do you think we’ll see more of this from the brand in the future?
We can’t say for sure if we have more of our Chocolate-Dipped Bars in the pipeline, but this line was developed as a healthy yet indulgent, handheld option after listening to our consumers. We’re always getting flavor requests from fans so you never know what you might see in the future!
Have you pursued any strategic partnerships in health and fitness?
Yes, we’re always on the lookout for like-minded brands that are a natural fit for ARCTIC ZERO. If our consumers are already naturally using ARCTIC ZERO together with another product, it makes total sense for us to see how we can work together and collaborate with our fans in mind. We’ve worked with a number of brands in the past and we have some exciting partnerships in the works, including Asics, Bare Snacks, Califia Farms, Quest Nutrition and so many more.
Now that you’ve established a new category within frozen desserts, how will you protect your brand from the inevitable competition?
As you mentioned, competition is inevitable, especially in the frozen dessert category where a number of brands are vying for prime placement within an already crowded space. Because of our unique product, attributes and premium ingredients, like monk fruit and whey protein, we’re able to stand out among the crowd and offer something truly different. We also owe so much of our success to the strong advocates behind our brand. Without the support of our fans, we wouldn’t be able to forge ahead past competitors and continue to push boundaries in our category.