Will limited-edition exclusives become the next big thing in the grocery store? – RetailWire

March 17, 2022

Walmart has secured an exclusive deal on seven new ice cream flavors from Van Leeuwen ice cream, including Kraft Mac & Cheese. The flavors will spin in 3,500 locations across the United States over a 10-week period.

In July 2021, Kraft teamed up with Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen to produce an ice-cold version of its signature Macaroni & Cheese. The limited-edition variant drew strong objections from ice cream purists on social media, but the 6,000 pints sold out online within an hour.

The macaroni flavor returned in August in another limited edition, but the Walmart collaboration marks the first time the flavor has hit stores. The other six ice cream flavors coming to Walmart over the 10 weeks are Planet Earth, Pizza, Hot Honey, Royal Wedding Cake, Bourbon Cherries Jubilee and Wild Blueberry Shortcake.

This is the first exclusive rotation that Van Leeuwen brings to Walmart stores. He plans to refresh the flavors later in the summer.

the collaboration takes a page from the “drop the culturepioneered trend in the streetwear category in the United States by Supreme and Nike. On social media, limited-edition clothing and shoe releases often sell out immediately. Nordstrom, Macy’s and Target are among retailers known for their limited-time fashion capsules, but so far, limited-edition exclusives have been a bigger selling opportunity in fashion than in food.

Among other limited-edition collaborations between retailers and food/beverage brands:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Walmart’s exclusive partnership with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream signal a greater opportunity for grocers around limited-edition offerings? Why don’t exclusive, limited-edition products in grocery stores seem to resonate as much as fashion items?


“‘Limited Edition’ as a strategic weapon and as a marketing tool is one of the most powerful assets a brand or retailer has.”


Freeda S. Scott