Captivated Taste Buds of the World with Exceptional Taste and Quality
In Korea, there is a ice cream company that has been producing reliable products for about 60 years. This company is Lavelee. Located in Hwasun of South Jeolla Province, it has been able to stand firm for 60 years. This is thanks to continued purchases made by loyal consumers who are fascinated with the taste, quality, and reasonable prices offered by Lavelee. The company’s products are now also found in foreign markets―including the US, Taiwan, Australia, China, and Japan―where they promote the excellence of Korean ice cream. Lavelee produces about 200 iced products including premium spoon ice cream (which contains 12 percent butterfat), ice cream bars, and ice cones. These days, a lactic-acid fermented ice cream product of Lavelee is gaining huge popularity.
Securing Distribution Network by Cooperating with Franchisers
Lavelee selected the business method of supplying large quantities of its products to franchise companies in order to avoid unnecessary and exhaustive competitions with large domestic companies that have their own distribution networks. The main Korean franchisers cooperating with Lavelee include bakery and confectionery companies, such as Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours, and convenience stores, such as GS25, 7-Eleven, and Ministop Korea. The Lavelee products are supplied through a combination of two selling types―private brand (PB) and national private brand (NPB). In the NPB type, Lavelee can display its brand name and thus promote the company while doing business with the franchise companies. Since 2008, the company has been directly supplying its products to post exchanges (PXs) in the army.
In the meantime, cooperation with famous Korean franchises has brought the spotlight to many of Lavelee’s products. Among them, Double Ting, the first two-colored tube-type product in Korea, had record sales of 20 million items per year in Ministop Korea. Double Ting features two different tastes―strawberry and apple―and is now exported to the US. Another product, La Beaute’ Chocolate & Cookie, is supplied to the army and was selected as a best seller in the PXs.
Mr. Choi Hyeon-suk, director of the planning office of Lavelee, is responsible for sales. He said that behind the continuous choice made by consumers is the fact that the company plays fair with reliable quality and best flavors. He added that, while applying rigid quality control and hygiene systems, Lavelee produces various kinds of ice cream and ice products according to the preferences of consumers.
Export of Ice Cream to Eight Countries Including the US
Currently, Lavelee’s products are exported to eight countries including the US, Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Thanks to the knowhow accumulated through over 60 years in ice cream production, the company has been able to advance into foreign markets with products that reflect the preferences of local consumers. In 2001, it pioneered the export market, starting from Hawaii in the US. Since then, it has expanded the distribution channels to Los Angeles and New York―areas where many Koreans reside. Lavelee provides ice cream and ice bars through an original design manufacturer (ODM) method in cooperation with agricultural trading companies that have firm distribution networks in the US. What’s more, to demonstrate the reliability of its products, Lavelee obtained certification from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among the many Lavelee products, the sales volume of the ice bar Richmond is increasing in the American market. Richmond was launched in 2012. It is a premium ice cream that contains 12 percent butterfat, 20 percent milk chocolate, and 5 percent almond. It continues to appeal to many consumers in the US with its good taste and high quality.
When entering the Taiwanese market, Lavelee granted one buyer the right of exclusive sales and supplied products to the buyer using its own brand name of Lavelee. In the case of advancing into China in 2013, the company also gave its Chinese partner, BF, the right of exclusive sales and gradually expanded its sales in the local market.
Mr. Choi says, “One goes through a lot of difficulties and tough times when trying to sell your products in foreign markets in competition with global companies. To earn the trust of the buyers who help us pioneer the foreign markets, we are approaching a target market with patience, from a long-term perspective, rather than simply focusing on immediately achieving a high sales volume.”
Development of New Products with Lavish Investment in R&D
The secret of the success with consumers amid fierce competition with global ice cream companies is in the reliable quality and good taste of Lavelee’s ice cream. Those features, in turn, are thanks to the lavish investment in research and development (R&D) that the company makes to develop new products. Another factor is the knowhow accumulated over a long period of time. Based on steady investment in R&D, and the consequent accumulation of knowhow, Lavelee was able to develop products containing mango and wild blueberry.
It also became the first company in the field to create a lactic-acid fermented product. The company’s technical knowhow can also be seen in the case of the Australian market. With the onset of foot-and-mouth disease in Korea, Melona bar (a worldwide hit produced by Binggrae) was on the brink of being forced out of the Australian market. In the meantime, an Australian buyer requested that Lavelee develop a melon-flavored ice cream. The company immediately started developing a melon bar that maintains the same taste despite a reduced butterfat content and succeeded in exporting it to the country. With its confidence boosted by the promising entrance into Vietnam, Lavelee is planning to expand the export markets to Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries of Southeast Asia.
Mr. Choi emphasizes, “While keeping in mind the management principle that Lavelee makes ice cream for everyone, we will make continuous efforts to make the Korean Lavelee ice cream the best product in the world.”
Inquiries Lavelee Co., Ltd.