Baskin-Robbins’ Philippine branch is located at the Central Square at Bonifacio Global City. Photo from Baskin-Robbins’ Facebook page
MANILA – (UPDATED) After more than two years of negotiations, the American ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins finally opened its store at the Bonifacio Global City, its first branch with local partners IceDream Inc.
This marks the long-awaited return of the iconic ice cream brand to the Philippines, decades after it opened in the early 1990s, under a different agreement.
Baskin-Robbins, which has over 7,000 branches in nearly 50 countries, launched its store at the Central Square at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on Tuesday.
Michael Dargani, president of IceDream Inc., said they decided to put up their first branch at BGC to establish Baskin-Robbins as a premium ice cream brand.
“We wanted to position the brand in a certain way, so there are strategic areas where we want to be present first to sort of establish Baskin-Robbins,” Dargani told ABS-CBNnews.com. “Eventually, we will open in all kinds of different locations, but we wanted to start in a location which is within the profile of our clientele.”
“We have a lot of offers, but we’re very picky about our locations,” added Dargani, who said that they will soon open branches in Makati and Quezon City.
Baskin-Robbins faces tough competition in the Philippines, which is home to a number of local brands, “artisanal” ice cream makers and global concepts such as Morelli’s, Swensen’s and Cold Stone.
Two years ago, the premium ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs ceased operations in the country, citing an “increasingly challenging” business environment.
Dargani, however, is confident that Baskin-Robbins will not suffer the same fate.
Two scoops of Baskin-Robbins ice cream on a waffle cone. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
“The brand has scale – it has more than 7,000 branches worldwide. That really gives us a large advantage in terms of getting great quality product at the best price… This level of quality at this price point is really tough to beat,” he said.
“We’re putting a lot into the service. Operational excellence is also important to us,” he added.
What to expect
The Philippine store of Baskin-Robbins serves “exactly the same” ice cream offered in the United States and other parts of the globe, promised Dargani, who cited the company’s strict guidelines when it comes to ingredients and cold storage facilities.
“It’s all made in the US. It’s basically imported here. Even the equipment is all imported from the US,” he said. “The product is exactly the same thing, there’s no difference at all.”
Customers can also expect to see Baskin-Robbins’ 31 flavors at the BGC branch served in batches. Some of the chain’s popular flavors are currently available, such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Very Berry Strawberry, Jamoca Almond Fudge Chocolate Mousse Royale and Love Potion #31, which contains white chocolate and raspberry ice cream.
The store also has a selection of ice cream cakes and beverages.
A slice of ice cream cake at Baskin-Robbins. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
For P139, one can enjoy a huge scoop of ice cream with a choice of topping (from the usual hot fudge and marshmallows to pineapple, caramel pralines and Reese’s peanut butter), whipped cream, cherry and chopped almonds. Two scoops cost P209, while three scoops are priced at P279.
Those who are too lazy to choose flavors and toppings can order the Brownie ala Mode (P249), Banana Royale (P249) and Banana Split (P369).
Ice cream cakes, meanwhile, are priced at P1,100 to P3,850 each.
Baskin-Robbins’ ice cream is very thick and sweet, and is expected to be a hit among the younger ones. The brand does not scrimp on ingredients – the Pistachio Almond ice cream, for instance, was chock-full of whole roasted almonds.
To attract more customers, the brand is offering a 31% discount on packed ice cream cartons for the month of July.
Upper Ground Floor, Central Square
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig