No Longer Schwan’s, Yelloh Eliminates Trademark Truck Delivery In Wyoming, West

Yelloh, which had been Schwan's up until last year, is eliminating its trademark delivery service in all but 18 states on the East Coast. That means no more yellow freezer trucks in Wyoming and the West.

RJ
Renée Jean

November 08, 20234 min read

Although the company has been bought and rebranded Yelloh, the Schwan's Cheyenne warehouse still has its familiar old logo on it. Yelloh has announced it's eliminated its trademark yellow truck delivery in all but 18 Eastern states, including Wyoming and the West.
Although the company has been bought and rebranded Yelloh, the Schwan's Cheyenne warehouse still has its familiar old logo on it. Yelloh has announced it's eliminated its trademark yellow truck delivery in all but 18 Eastern states, including Wyoming and the West. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Schwan’s Home Delivery Co., which sold in 2018 and was rebranded Yelloh last year, made a name for itself with signature cheery yellow box trucks that made personalized home deliveries of frozen foods. 

Customers could order directly from delivery drivers, who were often on a first-name basis with many of their customers. 

But Schwan’s sold off a 70% share of its business to a Korean firm, CJ CheilJedang, for $1.8 billion in 2018, keeping only Home Delivery Co. They began an effort to modernize the remaining business, including renaming it Yelloh a year ago.

That effort included revamping its website and adding a more robust digital ordering process in 2022.

Into The Sunset

Now the company appears to be doing something of a swan song in the West. It has announced that it will pull back its personalized delivery system to just 18 states, most of them on the East Coast, and none further west than Missouri.

The decision means closing 90 delivery centers and the loss of about 750 employees in sales, field and corporate offices, according to information from Yelloh. 

The company had not responded to a Cowboy State Daily request for information on how many employees will be lost in Wyoming as of the time of this story’s posting.

The closures are to happen by Dec. 8, though some customers in Nebraska posting about the decision on Facebook said they’ve already had their last deliveries.  

Yelloh said its customers in Wyoming and the West can still get their favorite items by using the company’s app and ordering online, or by calling to receive products through UPS.

Some Wyoming Customers Are Fuming

That solution wasn’t sitting well with some customers in Wyoming.

“I don’t trust them UPSing frozen food,” Dianne Siglin commented in the Cheyenne Rants and Raves Facebook group Tuesday.

“I had no idea,” Machel Lachniet Allen said. “I will have to stock up on their chicken, as it’s the best.”

Others felt the new company has been taking the business in the wrong direction for a while.

“Since they went to Yelloh, prices have skyrocketed and quality has been cut,” said John Mittan, who identified himself as being from Nebraska. 

“Let’s see how long before all these changes put them out of business,” Linda Doty added.

“Seems like whenever two companies ‘merge’ or one is bought out, most of the good things of the original company are phased out,” Barbara Peterson said, adding that it’s a “terrible business model.”

Quality has been an issue for a while now, others suggested.

“Tasteless food and ridiculous prices,” Vicky Anne posted.

On Demand Edging Out Schwan’s

Yelloh in its press release cited rising business costs in a post COVID-19 pandemic world as the reason for shifting its business model. 

“This is a heartbreaking decision for our company, because we cherish our customers, our employees and the special role our team members play in our local communities,” a Yelloh media release stated. “Concentrating our high-touch delivery service in fewer locations — in states that are the foundation for our 70-year-old company — is the best path forward for Yelloh.”

Schwan’s home deliveries started in 1952 when a 23-year-old Marvin Schwan packed a beat-up 1946 Dodge panel van with some dry ice and 14 gallons of his family’s signature ice cream and set out for the countryside, determined to sell every gallon.

It went so well that by the next year, Schwan could buy a refrigerated truck and hire the company’s first delivery driver/salesman. He had the truck painted in that creamy yellow that became the Schwan’s signature. 

New routes were soon added, and new foods as well. More trucks were bought to serve a growing customer base that would one day stretch across the Lower 48.

The company, however, has not been immune from online shopping trends. During the pandemic, people learned to shop online and stores like Walmart and Kroger have added on-demand delivery services as well. 

With as much as 30% of grocery orders shifting online, according to retail industry data, that’s upped the ante for a delivery service like Yelloh’s, which was already operating in a space that has traditionally had thin margins.

Renée Jean can be reached at Renee@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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RJ

Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter