Pioneering technology for Magnum Temptation

Since its launch in Europe in the early 90s, Magnum has grown to be one of Unilever’s biggest brands, bringing real chocolate indulgence to the adult ice cream market. However it became widely imitated and there was a need to re-establish both its superiority and leadership.

The idea

Box of Magnum ice cream

In line with the consumer trend for experiencing greater sensory pleasure, we decided to launch a new product platform that delivered a premium and complex experience – the ‘blow me away’ concept. This would allow the more discerning consumer to trade up to a super premium level compared with the core range of Magnum.

Different challenges

The total offering required a step change in the visual, tactile and organo-leptic experience. In other words, a unique new sensual shape, perfect finish on the chocolate coating and exceptional ice cream quality.

We wanted to incorporate the highest ever levels of inclusions. For instance, one would have sauce combined with chocolate and brownie chunks. Another, almond pieces smothered in chocolate and caramel sauce. And we wanted it delivered in an impulse format, by which we mean ice cream on a stick rather than in a tub.

All of this demanded inspired creativity from our ice cream R&D experts.

New technology

We developed a new forming process based around continuous extrusion that allowed us to shape in three dimensions whilst dosing the inclusions. Evolved over a decade by the team at Colworth, this pioneering cold roller technology was set to revolutionise the stick format.

Extensive testing included a continuous 3-day production trial. We also had to secure patents, design registrations and freedom to operate agreements. To deliver this innovation on time and in full required outstanding collaboration between R&D, Brand Development, Supply Chain and all support functions.

Packaging design

Developed through Open Innovation with a strategic partner, the novel and visually attractive packaging is integral to the premium nature of the concept. Smart design struck the right balance of minimal environmental impact through renewable material use with effective product protection. What’s more, it establishes a consumer ritual: remove the seal and open the box to reveal the naked product on a soft cellulose inlay, surrounded by the ‘gold’ inside of the carton. Reminiscent of a jewellery box in function and graphic design, each variant has its own signature colour within the carton.

In-market results

In 2007, we launched Magnum Temptation in Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In 2008, we went into the rest of Europe with a dark chocolate variant. In 2009, we expanded capacity and introduced a fruit variant to cover the range of consumer preference.

As a breakthrough innovation Magnum Temptation has achieved the expected success delivering incremental sales. This means that it did not impact the sales of the core range. The products are now being rolled out across the world.

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