Mullins Ice Cream

Northern Ireland
Business type
Food SME
4 months
Design support
Invest NI
Hamill Bosket


Founded in 1954 by Walter and Margaret Mullin, Mullins is a family run ice cream company based in the village of Kilrea, Northern Ireland. From humble beginnings their dairy ice cream business has grown dramatically over the last 60 years – now served in more than 50 ice cream parlours across the country and stocked by major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA.

In spite of this success, the company felt there was still potential to increase sales, particularly in retail settings. They had a very high quality product which they felt would benefit from a brand and packaging that better reflected this. Crucially the market they were in was extremely crowded, their product blended in with the competition and simply didn’t stand out on supermarket shelves.

​There was no standout ice cream in our market and we wanted to become the number one.

Peter Lynn
Sales Manager, Mullins Ice Cream

How design helped

Mullins began by attending a free design clinic run by Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s business development agency. These clinics offer free design advice to any business considering a new design project.

For Mullins, and many other firms, this clinic was a gateway to Invest NI’s Design Development Programme which offers specialist consultancy for businesses using design. Working with a consultant the programme helped Mullins define the scope of the project and write a brief – it then helped them choose the right agency to carry out the work.

As a result of the programme, Mullins hired branding consultants Hamill Bosket. They briefed them to evaluate the brand as it stood, then develop an authentic identity and packaging concept that would set them apart from other ice cream brands.

As ice cream connoisseurs, how could we refuse? We particularly enjoyed the research on this project.

Kenney Hamill
Partner, Hamill Bosket Design

Hamill Bosket developed a new visual identity for Mullins, this gave them a uniquely recognisable logo for the first time which could be applied everywhere from ice cream tubs to the signage of the parlours. They also devised a beautiful candy stripe colour scheme for the packaging which could be adapted for different flavours, but maintained a recognisable overall look for the brand.


  • 2X product stockists
  • 1,000% sales increase at Tesco supermarkets
  • 1st in Sainsbury’s regional awards for packaging

Hamill Bosket’s logo and packaging design was rolled out across Mullins entire product line and their network of more than 50 ice cream parlours. The impact of the work was immediately apparent in the sales figures – supermarket chain Tesco reported a 1,000% increase in ice cream sold, as a result Mullins is now stocked in twice as many locations across the country.

Sales Manager Peter Lynn explains the difference design made to Mullins

Sales Manager Peter Lynn explains the difference design made to Mullins

The impact of design has gone well beyond the packaging, the company now appreciate the value of design to their overall business strategy. Design helps ensure they make an impact at trade shows and exhibitions, and design methods are even used to create new product flavours.

We use design in the business every day now, design is very very important to get the message across to our customers, and we intend keep doing that.

Peter Lynn
Sales Manager, Mullins Ice Cream