Michigan will be getting an official state park ice cream—and you can help pick the flavor.
If your favorite state park experience was a flavor of ice cream, what would it taste like?
Maybe it will be Seven Layer Fantasy, Captain America, or even Chai Latte.
Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company is partnering with Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a cross-promotional marketing blitz starting this month (January).
The push will include a website where anyone can upload outdoors-themed ideas for a new flavor of ice cream.
“Everybody has a great memory that could be put into a flavor of ice cream,” said Bruce Kratt, marketing director for the Holland, Michigan-based ice cream manufacturer. “It might be blueberry picking with grandpa and grandma in Allegan County.”
“It will be the limited edition official flavor of Michigan State Parks,” said Maia Stephens, a DNR recreation programmer working on the project.
“In January, we are going to kick off a flavor recipe and naming contest. People will be able to submit their own ice cream recipes.”
After the public input, Hudsonville will narrow the field of competitors down to four or five flavors, which would be produced at the company’s test kitchen, Kratt said. The winning flavor would be selected from a panel of children and celebrity judges.
The winner would receive a prize, and the winning flavor would be produced as a limited-edition flavor, distributed to ice cream parlors and grocery stores throughout the Great Lakes region, Kratt said.
The contest is just one part of a larger public relations push tied to the Pure Michigan campaign that Hudsonville is planning, Kratt said. Eighty-five percent of the campaign’s events and activities still have not been unveiled.
“It’s unlike anything Hudsonville has done before,” he said.
The ice cream partnership is the latest effort by Michigan State Park to develop promotional and sponsorship agreements with the private sector, a move that began in earnest in 2009.
Stephens said the DNR frequently partners with private companies to promote state parks. “We want to reach out. … We don’t have a lot of money for advertising,” she said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with outside entities.”
Stephens said no money is exchanged in the partnerships. “In the end, the overall winner is Michigan moving forward,” she said.
Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company
Hudsonville Ice Cream started when a group of local farmers who were looking for a better way to sell their dairy products banded together to form a new co-op. They chose a location on Chicago Drive in Hudsonville, Michigan, for this new venture, and in 1895 the Hudsonville Creamery was born.
In 1926, the Creamery began churning ice cream during the summer months—producing six flavors—vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, orange pineapple, and tootie fruitie. That same year, the first commercially successful Continuous Process Freezer, developed by Clarence Vogt, was introduced. The continuous freezer would revolutionize the ice cream industry, allowing manufacturers to mass-produce their product for the first time, creating a new demand for what had traditionally been a summertime treat.
Fourteen years later, ice cream had become a staple product for the Hudsonville Creamery, and in 1940 the company began producing the six original flavors of ice cream year-round.
Today, Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company produces Original ice cream, Creamery Blend ice cream, Heritage Edition ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and sherbet. There are more than 30 flavors in 1.75 quart containers and still more than 50 flavors available in three gallon containers.
Hudsonville Ice Cream is available throughout Michigan, and selected areas of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.
Address: 345 East 48th Street, Suite 200, Holland, MI 49423
Phone: (616) 546-4005
Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.
—Charles M. Schulz