Supermarket Donates Ice Cube Sales To ALS, Challenges Competitors To Do The Same

08/29/2014 02:24 pm ET | Updated Aug 29, 2014
Anna Gowthorpe - The FA via Getty Images

Thanks to the viral ice bucket challenge, in-demand cubes are flying out of freezers and one supermarket is using the surge to contribute to the cause.

British supermarket giant Tesco is donating its profits from rocketing ice cube sales to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a U.K. group that funds research and supports patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other forms of motor neurone disease.

Tesco has already donated 20,000 British pounds (more than $33,000) and has challenged its competitors to do the same, according to a released statement.

"We’ve seen a big increase in sales of bags of ice as a direct result of this phenomenon, and we want the Motor Neurone Disease Association to be the ones to benefit," Greg Sage, Tesco community director, said in a press release. "That’s why today we’ve pledged to donate the extra profits we make to them, and we nominate Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons to do the same!"

So far, only Asda has accepted the nomination, according to Tesco’s Facebook page.

The ice bucket challenge, which tasks supporters with either dumping a bucket of ice over their heads or donating money to an ALS organization, first took off in the U.S. Earlier this month, Pete Frates, a former college Division 1 athlete with the disease, held a mass challenge with 200 participants in Boston and the stunt has since spread globally, according to the Associated Press.

A number of U.K. supermarkets have reported not being able to meet customers’ ice orders and MNDA said it's gotten "unprecedented" donations since the challenge hit England.

As of Friday, the group had received 4.5 million British pounds, (more than $7 million) thanks to the challenge and has seen a seven-fold increase in donations in August, compared to a standard month last year, according to the Telegraph.

Tesco sold more than 36 million individual ice cubes over the last week alone -- a "significant" increase on average sales.

Sainsbury’s, which hasn’t yet accepted Tesco’s challenge, has seen its summer ice sales double, with one shop selling 60 bags of ice in a matter of hours, the Telegraph reported.

Some stores haven't been able to keep up with the demand.

The Co-operative store in Portsmouth recently had to turn away customers eager to pick up ice.

"We ran out at the weekend and had to turn a few people away of all ages," Tina McDonough, customer sales assistant, told the Telegraph. "It was definitely to do with the ice bucket challenge."

Find out how you can donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association here or help support ALS research through the "Donate" button above.

Also on HuffPost:

Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges

CONVERSATIONS