Did you know the ice cream industry is a billion dollar, billion gallon business? The appeal of this frozen dessert started many years ago and snowballed into the industry we know today. Ice cream is evolving with updated flavors and creamy trends, putting this industry on the upswing, with no signs of stopping.
When the appeal of this frozen dessert began
Though history hints at ice cream’s beginnings way back in the Roman Empire, the dessert’s official start was when Marco Polo brought sherbet back from Italy. This sherbet quickly morphed into “cream ice,” and by 1660, the general public was indulging in the sweet, frosty substance. For many years, ice cream was enjoyed by royals and the elite, and wasn’t accessible to the general public. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that this frozen dessert was available to everyone.
The popularity of this frozen treat increased with technological innovations, such as home freezers in the 1920’s. During World War II, ice cream shops and soda fountains were popular. Sales during this time surged until rations prevented the public from consuming the sweet treat. Declining after the war was over, sales didn’t go up again until the late 1940s when the creamy creations became a symbol of celebration and freedom. Once the frozen dessert went mainstream, grocery stores began to carry different brands and flavors. Mass-produced ice cream became the norm as trucks, shops, and restaurants began carrying wide varieties of the dessert.
The evolution of ice cream in America
Today, more than 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream is produced every year, and in 2010, revenues surpassed $10 billion. Many producers are family-owned businesses who have been around for over 50 years with a long history in the industry.
Vanilla remains the most popular flavor of this frozen treat. Of course, summer is ice cream’s most profitable season, with June seeing the highest sales of the warmer months. With many different types of ice cream produced, including fat-free flavors, sorbet, and vegan soy, there are more varieties now than ever to suit everyone’s tastes.
The dessert is evolving to meet consumer needs and tastes, and projected sales in America is an upward trajectory. With products like premium ice cream continuing to sell at high rates, the future of this frozen dessert looks bright. Novelty items like ice cream sandwiches, fudge bars, and popsicles remain popular year after year. Though the flavors, fat content, and presentation may vary, this frozen treat continues to be a perennial favorite for American consumers. People are also indulging in ice cream year-round, making it a top seller that isn’t just for summer consumption.
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