A duo who started their ice cream business in their garage has revealed how they have scored a multimillion-dollar contract with one of the biggest supermarkets in the country.
Cian Dawson, 29, and Courtney Brown, 30, started GYM BOD in 2018, making their first High Protein Soft Serves tinkering on a Commercial Grade soft serve machine imported from China.
The pair then moved to Sydney from Toowoomba the following year, selling their “better for you” product around F45 gyms in an ice cream van, which is when someone suggested putting the ice cream in tubs.
Quickly, the pair got the attention of supermarket giant Coles, who gave them a $2 million contract.
But, in just one year in supermarkets, Coles doubled their contract to a whopping $4 million and GYM BOD expanded their range from three to seven flavours in stores.
The three original flavours were Chocolate Pudding, Peanut Butter Salted Caramel and Cookies & Cream as well as collagen sticks and protein poles.
Now, there is also Strawberry Shortcake, Vanilla Caramel Swirl, Vanilla Choc Top, Caramelised Biscuit Choc Top and Raspberry Cheesecake Plant Based.
Each item retails for $10.95 and the ice creams range between 297 and 399 calories per tub.
There is also a new Choc Top range.
Cian told news.com.au last year the ice cream as about offering customers Better Option Desserts, which is what BOD stands for in the name, so people can enjoy ice cream without compromising health.
“We are the biggest underdog in the freezer aisle – it’s actually insane that GYM BOD is on the shelf competing with the FMCG Conglomerates such as Unilever and Danone,” Cian said at the time.
For a while during lockdown, the pair were selling their ice cream through their Shopify website, with home deliveries every night to customers around Sydney.
“We had a freezer in the back of our car to hold the orders. It worked well during lockdown as everyone was home – however when lockdowns lifted, it was a logistic nightmare co-ordinating with customers for when they would be home so their ice cream wouldn’t melt,” Cian said.
“We were also focusing on getting our ice cream into IGAs and small grocers so our product was easier for our customers to get, and so we could get some sales data.
“I would call IGAs everyday on my lunch break to try and drum up sales. Many stores took our ice cream as a means to stop me calling them every week!”
But things changed in March 2021. Armed with the sale data, the pair approached supermarket giant Coles and were granted a trial in 70 stores from November that year.
The deal went exceptionally well and now GYM BOD can be found in every Coles freezer aisle around the country.