What Nearly 180,000 Ice Cream Cones Do for One Powerful Brand
Children in shopping carts, parents needing groceries and teenagers looking for a treat have all been screaming for ice cream at Macey’s over the past quarter century. As Macey’s continues to expand, with the twentieth store opening recently in Eagle Mountain, the importance of the Kong Kone is growing as high as its well-earned reputation for quality and value.
In the opening days at the Eagle Mountain location a couple of weeks ago, Mark Ridley, Darin Peirce, Ashlee Johnstun and others jumped in with store team members to meet the high demands for what could be Utah’s favorite grocery store treat. Other stores see similar requests, especially as the weather warms.
Macey’s team members are quick to point out that Kong Kones are more than a typical ice cream cone – they are a twisted, towering, turret of fantastic flavor. Served in vanilla, chocolate or the popular twist of both flavors, Kong Kones are a tradition for many families throughout northern Utah.
While the Kong Kone originally referred only to the largest-sized ice cream cone, today every ice cream cone at Macey’s is called a Kong Kone. They come in four different sizes: Baby (5 ounces), Momma (1/2 pound), Daddy (3/4 pound) and Ultimate (1 pound).
Macey’s named their original dessert “Kong” after the gorilla who received his education at Ice Cream University and is a friend of Curious George. (Before Kong, the store’s character was a moose.) Ice cream first made an appearance in the Lindon Macey’s Snack Bar — which originally served stadium food such as hot dogs and nachos — in 1986.
In 1991, the Macey’s in Orem expanded to a full-service delicatessen and the Kong Kone was added to the permanent menu.
“We view the ice cream program and Kong Kones as a key element of the offering we have at Macey’s,” Darin Peirce, vice president of ARO, says. “We are very proud of the long history we have. It’s just part of the happy shopping experience we have at Macey’s.”
To date this year, Macey’s, has sold approximately 87,611 pounds of soft-serve ice cream or about 179,570 cones. These sales are often part of a larger shopping trip which helps draw customers to Macey’s even when competing stores are nearby. Additionally, both corporate and guest-created social media posts are plentiful and popular. A Google search for “Kong Kones” quickly shows the photo friendly nature of the frozen phenomenon with dozens of posts drawing attention online.
“It’s amazing to think about the power of the Kong Kone,” said Danerish Root, delicatessen sales manager. “It’s also rewarding to see the joy it brings to so many of our guests. It truly is an important part of the Macey’s brand and a key differentiator for us as we continue our growth.”