For many, the jingle of the ice cream truck is the sound of summer. In September, Hä​agen-Dazs modernized the ice cream truck experience with its test of on-demand ice cream delivery in London. Facebook Messenger users could message the brand to receive ice cream delivered to their exact location; they could even monitor their delivery driver’s status in real time in order to know exactly when to take out the spoons.

Hä​agen-Dazs’ entry into the delivery market represents the latest attempt by brands to take back control of delivery. For most food and restaurant brands, third-party courier fulfillment is the norm.

Partnering with couriers has its perks, namely the vast reach of courier services provide. A large share of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants rely on third-party courier fulfillment, even if they’re not official partners. Although 85% of brands in the study can be ordered on DoorDash, only 45% have official landing pages on the delivery service.

Restaurant delivery

However, courier partnership also comes at a cost, notably a loss of margins and control. But brands are increasingly taking matters into their own hands. Panera Bread—a Genius brand in the 2017 ranking —announced earlier this year that it was expanding its in-house delivery service. Chick-fil-A has gotten even more creative, testing out meal kits to move the experience into customers’ homes. Hä​agen-Dazs’ entry into the delivery market could turn out to be a sweet treat for the brand, as well as for consumers.

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