Ice cream is a $59 billion business with sales anticipated to increase to $65 billion by the end of this year. It is dominated by Nestle and Unilever. Nestle owns Haagen-Dazs and Dryers and Unilever now owns Ben & Jerry among their many brands
This might lead you to think the days of the Mom & Pop parlors are over but don’t despair, you’ve probably noticed that there is a homemade ice cream shop that is thriving at just about every seaside vacation spot. All of them appear to do a roaring business at least during tourist season.
If a store front seems like too big a commitment, perhaps the idea of a mobile ice cream truck might be more appealing. With wheels of your own, you can create your own flavors. Peter Wong, a New Jersey entrepreneur has come up with several Asian flavors including lychee, green tea and red bean but, not surprisingly, his biggest seller is Killer Chocolate, a deep dark chocolate to which he sometimes adds a banana or fresh mint. Stake out a roadside spot or keep rolling, twittering your location for your fans and followers.
By the way, even small dairies employ a professional ice cream taster who may be asked to suggest new flavors too.
I recently came across an article in the Los Angeles Times about Katherine Montero who describes herself as an ice cream sommelier.
She graduated with a business degree from Harvard University and an interest in molecular gastronomy and biology. She’s created a job working with a chef in an ice cream laboratory in Miami.
They’ve dreamed up some truly weird flavors including pizza ice cream: a combination of basil and tomato marmalade served with a curl of parmesan cheese. There’s also maple syrup served with a strip of crisp bacon and chocolate mole ice cream. Those who yearn for vanilla may be out of luck but there is a never ending parade of people who are willing to try anything, at least once.