July 23, 2014: Ice Cream Revival
You wouldn’t know it from my family’s consumption (we’re all ice cream addicts), but ice cream sales have been down a bit, mainly due to the increased competition from frozen yogurt. But Andy Brennan, an IBISWorld market analyst, recently told CNBC, “We’ve reached the turning point where the industry is going to bounce back. We’re certainly forecasting a rebound.”
The really good news is that the ice cream resurgence is primarily happening at the small, independent ice cream stores (though sales are up a bit at Baskin-Robbins as well). CNBC attributes it to changing consumer tastes, which “are shifting toward more premium products and local ingredients.” Brennan says consumers “want some transparency [about] what they’re eating.”
The revival is doing particularly well in urban markets, like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and is being fueled by the exotic flavors of the ice cream.
For instance, CNBC talked to Sam Mason, ice cream maker at OddFellows, a two-store chain in New York City. Mason reports some of his most popular flavors were “beet, goat cheese and candied pistachio, and tobacco with huckleberry and chilis.”
Neither of those appeals much to me, but my significant other was enthralled by a picture of PB&J ice cream offered by Amy’s Ice Cream, a successful, small (15 stores) chain headquartered in Texas. (I’ve had Amy’s ice cream while in Austin, and it’s unbelievably good).
Photo Courtesy: OddFellows