ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Here are the cold hard facts about Blue Bell Ice Cream: The Texas-based company will reopen its distribution facility in Albuquerque and fans can once again find their favorite frozen treat at area supermarkets and drug stores the week of March 12.
“It has always been our goal to return to the Albuquerque area,” said Wayne Hugo, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. In 2015, Blue Bell pulled its ice cream out of the frozen dessert aisles after a listeria outbreak.
“Blue Bell has been available in parts of southeastern New Mexico since 2016. And now, with the addition of Albuquerque and its surrounding area, we are able to offer our products to even more stores across the state,” said Hugo. “We can’t thank our customers enough for their patience.”
The company has begun ramping up its workforce for its distribution facility in Albuquerque. “We will continue hiring over the next few months,” Hugo said.
The company curtailed production and distribution in 2015 after its products were linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas. Production plants in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama underwent an extensive cleaning and decontamination process.
Known as “the little creamery in Brenham (Texas),” Statista, an online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal, said Blue Bell, despite its setbacks, is doing big-time business. Statista said it was the fifth-ranked ice cream brand in the U.S. in 2017, with $425 million in sales. Total ice cream category sales amounted to about $5.4, billion according to Statista,