Ice cream, ever since its invention in the early 20th century, has endured as a massively popular and time-honored frozen dessert across the United States, and today, more flavors and variations of this treat exist than ever before, and ice cream also has related desserts to compete with such as gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and more, and ice cream itself may be found in hard serve or soft serve variants. But there is more to this dessert than the cream itself; ice cream supplies are varied, from classic, edible waffle cones to paper cups and plastic spoons or straws for those interested. How popular is ice cream today in the United States, and how can a new ice cream shop get everything set up for all kinds of customers today?
On Ice Cream
Americans love this frozen treat. IN any given two-week period, according to data from the NPD Group, around 40% of Americans will eat ice cream, meaning many millions of people are always indulging in this treat. Another way to put it is that 90% of American households indulg4e in a frozen treat, including ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and more. Production of ice cream is huge to match: nearly 1.5 billion gallons of this treat and similar products are made in the United States every single year, and a significant amount of milk from dairy farms is dedicated to ice cream production. This treat is most often consumed in the warmer months of the year when frozen desserts contrast with the heat, with June being the most popular single month for such treats.
Hard serve ice cream is stored at a colder temperature than the soft serve variant, and has more air whipped into it. Often, this is the very image of classic ice cream, but the soft serve variant is also popular, being a little warmer and creamier, as the name suggests. Meanwhile, gelato is a related frozen treat that has found a large fan base among Americans, and it contains 308% milkfat and has 25-30% air, and is generally relatively dense and creamy, something that many customers may like. It cannot be served in a waffle cone, however, and is usually served in cups and bowls with special spoons instead. The same may be true for frozen yogurt, which sometimes even has bacteria cultures in it for flavor, as well as fruit-based sherbet. How can all these products be offered to today’s customers?
Ways to Serve
Ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and more offer various options for those who sell such treats. Any shop, big or small, should have both ice cream cones and cups available for customers. Waffle cones are the classic image of ice cream and are still popular since they are attractive; in fact, some customers share their ice cream cones on social media like Instagram. The cone itself is edible and may make for a nice contrast with the ice cream itself, but cones can be messy and are prone to drips, even if the ice cream scoops do not fall off (which they may), and cones offer no means for customers to mix up their ice cream flavors if they want to. By contrast, while cups and bowls are plain looking, they can easily carry ice cream or gelato without making a mess, and with their spoons, customers can mix up flavors and condiments as they like, and these cups and bowls provide ready-made storage units if the customer wants to put their leftovers away at home in their freezer. This is a good option for those who would rather avoid making a mess.
An ice cream shop will also invest in enough ice cream and gelato makers to keep up with expected demand, and offer many different flavors and condiments for customers. Using an ice cream machine also means knowing how to take care of it. At the end of each day, the shop’s staff should run water through it to clear out any leftover food, then take it apart and wash all the pieces in warm and soap water, let those parts dry, then reassemble the machine for the next business day’s work. The owner’s manual may be needed for this.