The long wait to have Blue Bell ice cream again will soon be over as Blue Bell Creameries has recently announced that the company will already start distributing its ice cream to a number of markets at the very end of the month.
The Texas based company has also stated that it had already informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make a re-entry to selected markets on a limited basis, beginning August 31 (Monday).
In July, Blue Bell had started churning ice cream again in the company’s production facility in Sylacauga, Alabama. Blue Bell’s updated Sylacauga plant passed inspection and product testing conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Environmental Services with the organization’s Deputy Director Ron Dawsey even telling AL.com, “All products meet our standards for dessert product production.”
Blue Bell’s return will be done in five phases
Now, Blue Bell plans to gradually bring their ice cream products back to market by doing it in five phases. The first phase of market re-entry is similar to how Blue Bell was introduced in the market sometime around 1907. Blue Bell will first make their limited ice cream products available in their very own hometown of Brenham, Texas along with Houston and Austin. Meanwhile, it also only made sense to stock up stores in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama as well, since this is where Blue Bell is currently churning its ice cream.
Phase two will see the delivery of Blue Bell ice cream in north central Texas and southern Oklahoma. Phase three will then cover southwest Texas and central Oklahoma.
When phase four happens, majority of Texas and southern Louisiana will see Blue Bell ice cream in their stores. And finally, the rest of Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas will be covered in phase five.
Moreover, the distribution of ice cream products will already extend to Arkansas, Florida, northern Louisiana, Mississippi as well as selected parts of Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Although, the market reentry phases have been determined, no other dates have been set for them, except phase 1. Blue Bell says it will only move from one phase to another once the company has determined that it can “properly service” the next set of markets.
Updated production facilities
Blue Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ricky Dickson has said that the company has worked hard to ensure that their ice cream products are now safe and possess the highest quality. Following the deadly listeria outbreak that plagued their products, Blue Bell had shut down all of its plants for extensive cleaning and upgrades.
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Now, Blue Bell says they had even decided to retain an independent microbiology expert to keep evaluating their procedures and facilities. And for the moment, only the production facility in Sylacauga is able to churn out ice cream for the market as the production facilities in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma are still in the process of getting upgraded.
Now that Blue Bell has laid out its plans on bringing its much beloved ice cream products back to the market, just one question remains. What flavors are coming back first?