Where To Buy Blue Bell Ice Cream Right Now — The Frozen Treat Is Finally Back On Shelves
After four long months, Texas's favorite dessert is back on shelves this week, but where can you buy Blue Bell Ice Cream right now? On Monday, Blue Bell began distributing its ice cream again to certain cities in Texas and Alabama. Eventually, the company plans to return to at least 15 of the 23 states it was sold in before the massive recall that it issued in the spring. For now, though, its distribution remains severely limited.
In April, Blue Bell voluntarily pulled all of its products from shelves across the country after its ice cream was linked to a listeria outbreak. The outbreak resulted in three deaths in Kansas and sickness throughout Kansas and Texas. Ironically, one of the places hit the hardest, Texas, is also one of the places Blue Bell is least worried about re-launching.
Texans have always had a fascination with Blue Bell, which is headquartered in Brenham, a town about halfway between Austin and Houston. Blue Bell launched in Brenham in 1907, but the company didn't start expanding outside the state of Texas until almost 1990. Even then, its presence across the country has been spotty. Still, Texans love Blue Bell, and they're definitely ready to have it back.
Blue Bell's comeback is currently in phase one of five. As of Monday, it had returned to shelves of grocery stores, including Kroger, in the Brenham, Austin, and Houston areas of Texas, as well as the Birmingham and Montgomery areas of Alabama, near where the ice cream is currently being produced. During future phases, the ice cream will gradually return to stores in other areas of Texas, and parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. No timeline for the subsequent phases has been announced, but Blue Bell will proceed to the next phase "based on product availability and when it can properly service the customers in an area," according to a statement on the company's website.
Last week, Blue Bell took to social media to give fans more details about its return, particularly about which flavors would return first. On Monday, four flavors made their way to the shelves: Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Cookies 'n Cream, and The Great Divide (a combination of Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate). By Wednesday, Blue Bell had also brought back Buttered Pecan.
So far, the frozen treat's reception back into the market has been quite warm. Blue Bell announced on Twitter on Monday that at least some stores had sold out of their inventory. Fortunately for fans, the company reopened another production facility, located in Oklahoma, on Tuesday, which will help it meet the "overwhelming consumer demand."
At this point, it's hard to believe that Blue Bell almost went out of business just a matter of months ago. The ice cream is back and making customers in Texas and Alabama very happy. In Texas, though, there's a hometown advantage. It will be interesting to see how things go as Blue Bell moves on to the next phases in states where it doesn't necessarily have the same brand loyalty.