What are ice cream processors thinking? They are opening plants as production plummets. Annual ice cream production has been dropping steadily, from 891 million gallons in 2007 to 785.3 million gallons in 2012. During that time, the number of ice cream plants rose to 406 (in 2011) from 357 in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistical service.
Retail sales of ice cream in the last year increased a scant 0.3% to $5.5 billion, despite a 4-cent-a-unit decrease. Sales were helped by an increase in unit sales of 1.4% in the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11, 2013, according to Information Resources Inc., the Chicago-based market researcher.