Great idea, poor execution

icepanRalph posted last week about a big company’s poor execution on what appears to be a razor/blade marketing strategy. Mine’s a bit different.

People who know me know that I love ice cream (almost all desserts really), and I am usually up for trying new ones. Thus, when I ran across Ice Pan Ice Cream at Harrah’s on the Las Vegas Strip, I was intrigued.

The idea is to custom make your ice cream right in front of you. It is a three-step process:

  1. Pick the flavor
  2. Pick the type of milk (whole, skim, low-fat, etc)
  3. Pick the mix in

This is one step beyond Cold Stone‘s popular (though not unique) custom mix-in approach. Intriguing, with good flavor and mix-in choices and a unique approach, so I ordered.

The guy behind the counter was a real showman (maybe because he’s in Las Vegas), but he really went all out doing his best Teppan Yaki style “cooking show” while making the ice cream in the pan. Took a couple of minutes (which would likely be the bottleneck if they get busy), but fun to watch.

The ice cream delivered (about a scoop and a half of what you might get at Ben & Jerry’s) was placed in the cup and the price was $6, which is steep even for super-premium ice cream by the scoop, but then it was custom-made. Unfortunately, custom-made does not mean great.

The resulting product was not only not great, it really wasn’t even that good. In a very rare, for me, event, I tossed about 1/3 of the product without finishing it, declaring to my wife that it was not worth the calories.

Great idea, good showmanship, poor product, sorry to say.


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