Fast Company

The (Ice) Cream Rises...

It's summer time, and the living is easy. So our minds turn to all things summer: kite flying, picnics in the park, baseball, and ice cream. Today's New York Times offers two glimpses behind the business of ice cream -- which make interesting parallel reads.

First up, R.W. Apple, Jr., takes a look at Blue Bell, a Texas-based ice cream maker that, even though it's sold in only 16 states, ranks third in total ice cream sales nationwide. That's right, this "little creamery" outsells Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's. It's secret? Snappy slogans, central control, and quality ingredients.

Secondly, I was sad to learn of the passing of James Conway, Sr., who helped launch the Mister Softee ice cream company. A multimillion business, Mister Softee -- whose trucks sing the song of summer -- ranks among the largest franchisers of ice cream trucks in the U.S. Conway was a graduate of Wharton.

This morning, I've got a taste for ice cream. We'll see how the day goes, but maybe I need to stop off at the Times Square Cold Stone Creamery.

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2 Comments

  • roger fulton

    here, here. I am so sick of the sell-up on everything from crackers and coke at the 7/11 to the 64 oz "bladder buster" for a quarter extra at the movie theatre.
    Enough, in the ice cream store. Yeah, the big marketing push for the high fat, heavy end ice cream-chises in the first and second tier cities sounds exciting on Mad/Ave BUT, are we really serious about making MONEY??
    Every town in America from Busted Nut, Nevada to Swamp City, Louisiana has to Shit Creek, Arkansas has to struggle through without a 31 Flavors or Cold Stone, as expensive as the latter has become.
    OK, so those bergs don't pencil out to fit the 'chise stat sheets, but in places like Oklahoma where the "big night out" is hanging out at your favorite malt shop, you can still take most of the available dollars with a good chain of ice cream shops in towns.
    Go-one, do it. It's not SUPER BIG money, but set up the local Rotarian big wig and take your 33% of the top.

  • Sheila

    Yeah, and when you go get some Blue Bell, no one shouts faux cheery welcomes at you the minute you walk in the door, the way they do at Cold Stone.

    And no I do not want a "medium for just XX cents more." If I wanted a cotton-pickin' medium I'd have ordered it already.