At Toledo Mud Hens home games, one opposing player is chosen as the strikeout player of the game. If he whiffs, a row of fans gets a free round of Toft’s ice cream.
Ouch. And if that’s not bad enough for the visiting team, the newest Toft’s flavor adds a bit of salt to the wound.
At the request of the Mud Hens, the Sandusky-based dairy rolled out Muddy’s Sea Salt Slam in time for opening day at Fifth Third Field. It’s just recently become available at local grocers.
Logan Meisler, a Toft’s spokesman, said Sea Salt Slam rides one of ice cream’s most popular trend in salted caramel.
“It’s been growing in popularity for probably the last two years, and we just hadn’t done anything with it yet,” Mr. Meisler said. “We’re trying to do something new for the Mud Hens.”
The vanilla ice cream also has chocolate-covered peanuts in it.
Toft Dairy Inc. has a long partnership with the Mud Hens and has created ice creams to sell at the stadium before. This is the first time, however, that the dairy used the Mud Hens name and packaging to sell its product in stores.
Mud Hens officials approached Toft’s.
“We’re always looking for unique things at the ballpark, and we like to collaborate with our local partners, so we thought it would be fun,” Andi Roman, a Mud Hens spokesman, said.
She said it’s been getting good reviews at the park.
Toft’s typically adds a couple flavors every year. Some make it. Some don’t. Typically Toft’s doesn’t put new flavors in cartons, first selling them at ice cream parlors to get a sense of how well they do before paying to design and print cartons.
With Muddy’s Sea Salt Slam, the packaging is almost as important as the ice cream itself. The company is starting with local grocers such as The Andersons Inc. and Walt Churchill’s Market.
Mr. Meisler said typically Toft’s doesn’t stock its newer flavors into larger grocery chains until they’re an established hit, as the dairy can’t afford to devote shelf space to something that might not sell.
All of Toft’s ice cream cartons will have a new look this year. The company is trading an old-fashioned look for more modern designs with more color, he said. “It’s also highlighting that their cartons are still a half-gallon [64 ounces], while many other brands have downsized to 56-ounce or 48-ounce containers.
“We’re trying to get our customers to realize that there’s more ice cream here for the same price,” he said.
Mr. Meisler said the Mud Hens tie-in is a great way to further their partnership and promote both brands.
The new flavor isn’t a seasonal special edition. Assuming it sells as well as Toft’s hopes, Muddy’s Sea Salt Slam should become a freezer fixture in the Toledo to Sandusky area. Because of the local ties, Toft’s doesn’t plan to sell it anywhere else.
Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: email@example.com or 419-724-6134.