For Challenge 10, our goal is to revolutionize artisan ice delivery. We assessed the merits of five existing artisan ice manufacturers to better understand the market:
The main drive in the high-end ice market skews heavily towards the high-end bar and restaurant market, with regional companies such as Hundredweight Ice, Favourite Ice, and Penny Pound Ice dominating markets in New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles respectively. The only two other serious players in the national ice game are Herb and Lou’s, which supplies flavor-infused ice cubes to a consumer retail market, and Glace, which nationally distributes ice spheres to through a subscription model.
In terms of similarities, all of the major ice companies use Clinebell machinery to produce their product (except for Glace which has custom equipment). All three regional restaurant distributors hand-cut their ice, while Herb and Lou’s and Glace both use cutting and shaping machines.
Through this market research, we have discovered an open niche in the ice market for non-flavored high-end ice distributed to specialty stores.