My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is taking a centuries-old treat and injecting modern marketing.
“We purchased the company in 2015 with the idea of bringing mochi ice cream to the masses,” My/Mo CMO Russell Barnett told Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. “And everybody said, ‘Mochi ice cream to masses? We’ve never heard of it’. Our point of view was, exactly.”
My/Mo bought the company from the family of Frances Hashimoto, the inventor of Mochi ice cream, when the family was looking to sell it after she passed.
“For us it's finding the right retailers who saw the vision of understanding that snacking was for the masses...for us millennials are our customer. Millennials snack more than anybody else ever in history, 4 times plus a day”, Barnett said.
Mochi ice cream consists of ice cream wrapped in sweet rice dough. Traditional flavors include black sesame or red bean but My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream opts for more mainstream flavors like cookies-and-cream and salted caramel. The treats are only 110 calories per serving and the company is hoping they’ll be your new go-to snack.
Barnett, a veteran of the food industry who has worked with the likes of Popchips and Kevita, knew the company had to get creative when it came to marketing the product. While My/Mo products can be found in the freezer aisle, the company also displays these confections in what they call ‘bars’ and “it’s a grab and go moment for you to try any one, two, three at a time. And by the way it’s incredibly [insta]grammable (FB), people take their phones out, scan it, and share it before they’ve even taken a bite”
My/Mo is also appealing to the non-dairy and vegan crowd by offering products made with cashew milk. Barnett was once the head of marketing for Gardein, a vegan meat brand.
When asked his thoughts on Beyond Meat (BYND) and Impossible brands making meat alternatives main stream Barnett said, “I’m so excited to see dairy and meat options...everybody always talked about it as an alternative, it was always an alternative. Well, if you’re an alternative that is a dangerous space to be because you’re not even part of the consideration set. Now, it’s an option. We know that people are looking to do a little better for themselves, a little better for the environment...I think it’s fantastic.”
Now two years old, My/Mo is expecting $150 million in sales this year and hopes to expand into more stores. The frozen confections can currently be found in stores including Target (TGT), Kroger (KR), and Fairway.
“There’s a lot of runway for us... we think there is an opportunity to bring mochi to the masses and we really think mochi as a whole can become a true snack platform,” Barnett said.
Sara Dramer is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follower her on twitter: @saradramer