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My/Mo mochi ice cream to hit 6,000 stores in September

My/Mo mochi ice cream to hit 6,000 stores in September

Mochi ice cream is quickly catching up to North American frozen treat staples like ice cream sandwiches and Klondike bars, according to category newcomer My/Mo, with market research firm IRI pegging the brand as the fastest growing frozen novelty item in terms of unit sales of the top 50 suppliers.

The same data set revealed that My/Mo mochi ice cream outsells the novelty treats sold by Coolhaus, which have been on the market much longer, by four to one.

My/Mo - which only launched in Q1 of 2017 and is now in retailers including Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, and ShopRite - also claimed to be growing faster, in terms of dollar sales, than ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s—with distribution increasing from 4,000 stores in April to 6,000 stores in September as Kroger and Publix start stocking the brand.

According to My/Mo chief marketing officer Russell Barnett, it was all thanks to mochi ice cream’s ‘snackable’ format. To those not familiar with the treat, mochi ice cream is a modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese mochi snack, which is a gelatinous rice dumpling filled with a sweet puree of red beans or crushed peanuts. This interpretation, as the name suggests, fills the rice dumpling with ice cream instead.

This gives it an edge to fit in the snacking trend more than other ice creams, Barnett said. “My/Mo is a hand-held snack of premium ice cream wrapped with sweet rice dough. It’s a textural sensation to chew leaving people completely satisfied any time of day or night. Ice cream tends to be relegated to dessert or ‘treat’ status,” he added.

The brand is a new incarnation of the storied LA-based Japanese bakery Mikawaya. According to the company, Francis Hashimoto, descendent of Mikawaya’s founders, invented mochi ice cream in the United States in the 1990s.

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