Why did Walmart make such a great cold pack manufacturer?
It all started with a business plan that’s been going on for years.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is one of the most profitable businesses in the country.
Over the past decade, it has expanded its cold pack business by adding refrigeration and other features.
Its latest line of cold packs, which are now available in almost every Walmart store, include a built-in freezer for refrigeration.
But its biggest Cold Pack franchisee, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., has always been focused on the frozen aisle, and that’s where it made its money.
It also made a big deal about its cold packs in the early 2000s, when Wal-mart was still a small, fledgling company.
The cold pack concept was revolutionary, the company said, and would make Walmart “the global leader in the refrigeration market.”
Its cold packs were the first products to offer cold protection and were designed to last for years with a lifetime warranty.
It was the future, Walmart executives said, because of its innovative technology and the ability to pack them with a variety of things, including water, a lid, and a thermostat.
That made them perfect for big retail stores, like Wal-Marts, and Wal-Cards, the frozen-food chains.
Wal-Mart executives saw an opportunity to expand into cold packs that didn’t need to be refrigerated.
They had the ability, they said, to take the best features of its existing cold packs and improve them.
And they were doing it by introducing new and innovative products that were meant to help Wal-marts compete on price, quality, and convenience.
The company was doing this with a cold-pack franchisee that had been doing this for more than 30 years, said Mark McManus, the Wal-Man brand manager.
“We were just trying to build a brand and become the best company in the world.”
A new kind of competitor was emerging.
“They had some of the best refrigeration technologies, and they were able to do it at a low cost,” McManuses said.
“And then they added the ability for us to do this.”
McManus has been at Wal-Amys cold pack franchisee for the past 10 years.
He said the cold pack revolution had started years before he was born, in the 1990s.
He recalls how Wal- Amys executives would bring in fresh frozen yogurt from the grocery store to get customers through the checkout.
“The frozen yogurt wasn’t fresh, so they put it in the fridge,” he said.
When the ice cream came out, the team was asked to do something about the yogurt.
They were given the idea to make a cold yogurt that would freeze more quickly, and also give customers a chance to eat it.
“You know, the kids would go, ‘What are we going to do with this ice cream?'”
“It was really kind of a gamble.
“I was always excited about the innovation,” he recalled. “
The franchisee also began to expand its cold- pack inventory, and by the early 2010s, it had about 200 locations across the country, serving as the cold-water distribution center for a number of large grocery chains. “
I was always excited about the innovation,” he recalled.
The franchisee also began to expand its cold- pack inventory, and by the early 2010s, it had about 200 locations across the country, serving as the cold-water distribution center for a number of large grocery chains.
By the end of the decade, McMenussen said, the franchisees had about 1,000 locations, making them the world’s largest supplier of cold-packs.
McManussen was an enthusiastic leader in cold-packing, but he wasn’t the only one who took it seriously.
A few years later, McGill Institute of Technology professor David Wachter saw a problem.
He saw the cold packs as a way for the company to compete on the ice.
“Wal-mart’s cold packs weren’t really competitive with what was out there,” Wachters said.
It seemed like a good opportunity for Wal-amys to try to get a foothold in the frozen yogurt market.
“Walgreens was not doing anything at the time,” he explained.
“So I thought, ‘Well, let’s take a chance and see what happens.'”
McGill had a team of about 10 students work on the project.
“Every day we would get up and we would look at these things and say, ‘I wish we had something like this,’ ” McGills said.
The students spent the day making prototypes of cold pack technology and creating a business case.
They then took the prototypes to Wal- mart’s research and development lab and made the final prototype.
McManu said the students were excited by the idea.
“These were the kids who were really getting the ideas out,” he remembered.
The kids then went home and created their own prototypes