Current Sales Trends

Ice cream production starts year by registering 9 percent increase in January to 36,901,000 gallons.
(From The Ice Cream Trade Journal, March 1955)
The new year — 1955 — got off to a good start as far as ice cream production was concerned. According to the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, ice cream production for the month of January 1955 was 36,910,000 gallons, or 9 percent more than the 34,015,000 gallons registered for January 1953.
While temperatures during the first half of the month were above average over most of the country, they were colder and below average during the last half of the month.
Only the Mountain and Pacific States showed losses during the month, with all the other regions having substantial gains.
The North Atlantic States recorded an increase of 9 percent; the East North Central States 8 percent, West North Central States 11 percent; South Atlantic States 16 percent; and the South Central States 17 percent.
The Mountain States had a loss of 9 percent and the Pacific region one of 5 percent.
Of the 32 individual states and areas recorded by the Bureau, 25 had gains, four had losses and three showed neither a gain nor a loss.
The four states to show losses were Connecticut, 12 percent; Georgia, 18 percent; Washington, 5 percent; and California, 7 percent.
The largest gain was registered by Tennessee with a plus of 36 percent, with other large gains being reported by North Carolina, 31 percent; and Florida, 27 percent.
Among the top 10 producing states, seven had gains, two showed neither an increase or loss and one had a decrease.
Pennsylvania, the No. 1 state, had a gain of 7 percent, to 4,490,000 gallons. A gain of 7 percent registered in a major producing state such as Pennsylvania means more in actual gallonage than larger gains recorded in states with 20 percent of Pennsylvania’s volume.
New York, in second place, recorded a tremendous gain of 14 percent, to 3,600,000 gallons. The large increase in New York, it was expressed by many trade observers, may have been due to the lower price schedules put into effect starting in December. This was also true with many Pennsylvania firms and elsewhere where prices were lowered.
Ohio replaced California as the No. 3 producing state in January 1955. Ohio’s ice cream production was 2,570,000 gallons, or up 9 percent, while California’s had a drop of 7 percent, to 2,500,000. There was some opinion expressed in some quarters as to whether the sale of mellorine in California did not cut into the ice cream gallonage.
Plainview Milk Products Cooperative (1899)

Looking back: Jim Erickson
Since my start date of September 1958 here at Anderson Erickson Dairy, many things have changed completely. Home delivery was the predominant delivery method in the early ’50s; now everything is semi-direct delivery or warehouse delivery. Glass bottles have yielded to plastic with a little paper remaining. There are more products and many more sizes to appeal to different customers. Automation has taken over; now we have machines and robots doing the jobs people did in the ’50s. Filling speeds have greatly increased and cleanup is automated. Workers need to be more educated.  Management needs to be alert to fast-changing consumer attitudes and maintain highest quality in spite of a more competitive environment. Customers have changed; one large store will take as much product as a full day’s run used to. Advertising needs to show the nutritional benefits of dairy products compared to other beverages.
Jim Erickson is chairman and chief executive officer of Des Moines, Iowa-based Anderson Erickson Dairy Co., founded by his father in 1930.
Faces at the forum — 2005 dairy forum
What has been the impact of the raw-cost fluctuations of the past year?
“The volatility damages demand in the short term and long run. We devote a lot of resources to managing margins rather than innovating.”
What capital projects are in store at your company?
“We’re in the process of rolling out new technology. Most capital projects will be installing new technology in existing facilities.”
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