An upcoming virtual brand from Nextbite could involve “throwed ice cream.”
Nextbite chief growth officer Geoff Madding said the Denver-based company that creates delivery-only brands is working with TikTok star Dylan Lemay, who has more than 11 million TikTock followers and 3 million YouTube subscribers. He’s a former Coldstone Creamery manager who became known for throwing (and often dropping) scoops of ice cream.
Lemay was demonstrating his throwing skills at the Nextbite booth during the National Restaurant Association Show, tossing scoops to recipients willing to try and catch the scoops in a dish — or their mouths — with mixed success.
Madding declined to offer details on the brand to come, but it’s another example of how virtual brands are leveraging the growing influence of social media stars to reach a young audience. Nextbite has built brands with stars like musician Wiz Khalifa and comedian George Lopez.
Lemay last year raised more than $1.5 million in pre-launch seed round funding to open an “immersive and experiential” ice cream store in New York this spring, according to press materials. Lead investor is Chris Camillo, a “finance guru” who co-founded Dumb Money.
Expanding under the brand Catch’n Ice Cream, Lemay is planning to open the store in Manhattan as a “full 360-degree ice cream experience,” including digital aspects and regular collaborations with other creators and celebrities and new flavors.
“I have worked with many creators and there’s something truly special about Dylan,” said Camillo in a statement. “His genuine and kind personality, his business-oriented curiosity and natural ability and his gift of bringing people together all stood out to me as important attributes to building such a unique business, and I’m thrilled to continue to work with him to grow his company and expand all the ways his ice cream brand can be engaged with by people all over the world.”
Watch Lemay demonstrate his ice-cream throwing skills in our NRA Show highlight on Instagram.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout