Not surprisingly, vanilla ice cream is still the most widely consumed flavor. It’s ability to remixed with any variety of toppings, and it’s generally complimentary taste have one it 29% of the market share. But ice cream’s history is much longer and outlandish then one might think. Tracing roots as an ice and fruit to Emperor Nero in the first century, a similar concoction was whipped from ice and milk by a King Tang in 7th century China. It’s seen a gradual development since then, emerging here and there in the form of Italian sorbets and French ice-milk dishes. The first parlor was opened in America in 1776, and it has been served as a luxury item ever since.
Time and technology have allowed for cheaper and much more efficient production. Modern refrigiration techniques dropped the price of ice cream drastically, as you no longer needed large amounts of ice and salt to keep the cream chilled. The continuous process refigerator was successfully introduced by Clarence Vogt in the 1920s, and ice cream cones first gave people a chance to carry it around and spill it on their pants at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. It’s been giving us “Good Humor” since Harry Burt’s team of uniformed drivers started delivering it in 1920.
Today, ice cream is widely available in traditional flavors at any retail food merchant, and in niche-market packages from parlors such as Ben and Jerry’s and Baskin Robbin’s, or the more recent Coldstone Creamery. More healthy renditions have become available in frozen yogurt and other fat free varieties, as some of us have a waistline to watch. Make mine mint-chocolate chip any day.
Based on ice cream consumption figures, the top five individual flavors in terms of share of segment in the United States are:
- vanilla (26%),
- chocolate (12.9%)
- neapolitan (4.8%)
- strawberry (4.3%)
- cookies n’ cream (4.0%)
Source: The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends Services
In 2003, about 86% of packaged ice cream retail sales happened in supermarkets. Convenience store sales were second at 11.4%, drug stores were third at nearly 2%, with 0.6% occurring at other locations. Source: Mintel
Based on supermarket statistics in 2001*, ice cream volume sales by quality segment were: superpremium (3.5%), premium (51.5%) and regular (45%). Source: IRI
Nearly 80% of supermarket ice cream sales are packaged in half-gallon containers. Source: IRI, 2001
Mexico is the single largest market for U.S. frozen dessert exports, with an estimated value of almost $17 million. Canada was the number two destination for U.S. frozen dessert exports, valued at $6.6 million. Japan ($3.6 million), United Kingdom ($3.4 million), and Hong Kong ($3.1 million) are third, fourth and fifth respectively. Source: USDA/International Ice Cream Association
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