Blue Bell Ice Cream returning to Wichita stores

After going cold for eight years, the popular ice cream brand has Wichitans excited for its return.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 8:12 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - After going cold for eight years, a popular ice cream brand is returning to Wichita. Blue Bell left the market in 2015 after a listeria outbreak linked to its products killed three Kansans. The company explained how it’s return comes with added measures to ensure customer safety.

“We added a procedure called test and hold. So, any batch of ice cream that we produce gets tested by a third party and held here at the facility until it’s proven safe to enjoy,” Blue Bell Creameries Executive Director of Advertising and Marketing Joe Robertson explained.

The Texas-based company’s return to Wichita next month follows feedback from customers who missed Blue Bell Ice Cream. On social media, loyal customer Donnie Bean led the charge.

“I’ve been posting on their social media page. So, any time they post a new flavor -- like the last one was Country Two Step -- I posted, ‘why don’t we two-step back to Wichita,’” Bean said.

After Blue Bell left the Wichita area, Leeker’s Family Foods in Park City was among local businesses that noticed their customers missing the product.

“Blue Bell is one of those brands. It was good ice cream when it we here and we sold a lot of it,” Leeker’s Owner Chris Steindler said. “So, they’ve been constantly asking when it’s coming back or if it’s coming back.”

We now know the answer to that first question is April 17. Wichita resident Rusty Mott is another among those happy to see the end in sight for what he called “the Blue Bell famine in Wichita, Kansas.”

“Growing up from a kid to now, there was special occasions and we always had Blue Bell there,” he said. “For me, it’s a perfect picture of childhood, and now I have children of my own so I get to pass that nostalgia down to them.”