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#171 Icecreamists

May 16, 2011

'Agents of Cool' is their slogan. Ice cream is not cool (not like that). Ice cream is super slob time. Their logo should be a shaven-headed, overweight man crying because he's dropped his ice cream and his alsatian's eating it off the floor. ASPIRATIONAL.

Posh ice cream – what can possibly go wrong with that? Icecreamists is a London ice cream boutique outlet. They did that cunning breastmilk ice cream flavour, remember? And they called it Baby Gaga, so they accomplished the almost impossible feat of shocking Lady Gaga into the bargain. We’d like to see Walls try that one. In short, they’re aiming to do for frozen milkiness what Hotel Chocolat did for chocolate.

Hotel Chocolat, marketing fans, does something extremely well-judged and clever: they use their packaging to associate their product with other high-end, female-friendly luxury goods like perfume and fancy lingerie. But not in an obvious way. It’s all in the quality of the packaging, the layout and the restrained-but-sexy style. Something naughty but nice. And worth the extra money.

If Hotel Chocolat is ever-so-slightly Agent Provocateur, Icecreamists wants to be full-on Torture Garden. The boutique (we went to the one in Maiden Lane – there’s one in Selfridges and another one opening inside Covent Garden Market soon) is done up like a high-end knocking shop. There are quotes about pleasure and licking and addiction and temptation everywhere. The girls (all girls) behind the counter wear big sexy police-style caps. It’s about as subtle as an open-handed smack on the backside.

Nothing inherently wrong with this, except for one thing. Despite all the artisan-level crafting of flavours, we thought that the ice cream itself was only pretty good – not great. Nothing jumped out at us, taste-wise. In fact, it was all rather restrained and polite. It seems to be an article of faith for Icecreamists that they don’t include anything as bourgeois as chunks or lumps in their icecream. Each flavour was completely smooth and gimmick-free. This is odd, when you’d think they’d be into… experimentation like this. So the ice cream itself is slightly underwhelming considering the fuss that’s been made around it. Mind you, we didn’t try an alcoholic ice cream cocktail. Perhaps they’re something special.

At the end of the day, Icecreamists shouldn’t be overly fixated its image – it should be concerned about two fat, sweaty men with odd facial hair called Ben and Jerry. Because we all know that’s where the sexy ice cream action’s at.

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