Blue Bell Ice Cream continues to expand its distribution following the virtual shutdown of its operations earlier this year after a recall of its products.
Phase three of the Brenham, Texas-based company’s five-phase market re-entry is scheduled to begin Dec. 14. Phase three includes the remaining majority of Texas and central and southern Alabama.
“We continue to fill stores in phase two but we can now focus our attention on the addition of phase three beginning Dec. 14,” said Ricky Dickson, VP of sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “This phase includes most of Alabama and Texas and it is our largest phase so far.”
Phase three includes the following cities: Mobile, Alabama and, in Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Big Spring, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Laredo, Longview, Lubbock, Lufkin, Midland, McAllen, Odessa, San Antonio and Tyler.
To begin phase three, Blue Bell will bring back 215 of its employees who were put on paid furlough earlier this year.
Blue Bell says it has moved carefully into each phase, building up its inventory before it begins to service a new area.
“Our Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) and Sylacauga (Alabama) production facilities have been in operation for several months now allowing us to build our inventory,” Dickson said. “And, we look to have our Brenham facility back in operation soon. We want to make sure that we can properly service each account with an adequate supply of products before moving to the next phase.”
Blue Bell currently is producing five flavors of ice cream in the half-gallon and pint sizes: Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide. More flavors will be added in the future. 12-pak Homemade Vanilla Cups and 12-pak Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate Cups also are available in stores.
“We are excited to announce phase three today and look forward to releasing the dates for the remaining two phases,” Dickson said. “We understand it has taken time to get our products back in stores and we greatly appreciate the patience and support of our customers.”