What Are the Different Types of Ice Cream Delivery?

Erik J.J. Goserud

The ice cream manufacturing industry relies on a number of commercial retailers to sell their products. As ice cream is an easily expired food in need of constant freezing, special delivery systems get the product to the consumer. There are a number of different types of ice cream delivery services, including independent ice cream trucks, online options, and more traditional distribution systems.

An ice cream cone.
An ice cream cone.

Independent ice cream trucks maintain a classic image in people’s minds since childhood. They are known for their classic carnival music played through cheap, crackling speakers to attract children. These vendors thus focus on neighborhoods and community events to sell their products. These small trucks have freezers fueled by generators. In the USA, for some people, these small-truck vendors have a stereotype of being rundown and creepy and have been mocked in cheap horror films.

Soft serve ice cream.
Soft serve ice cream.

There are now several online outlets for ice cream delivery that offer goods directly to the consumer. The main idea behind these sites is to give ice cream as a gift. Orders are shipped out in boxes, and a 3-gallon (11-liter) tub is a common large-scale purchase size. There are also gift packages of six and 12 pints, which can cost anywhere from $26 US Dollars (USD) to $60 USD. Special coupon offers can help make a more reasonable purchase as these boutique online shops can be overpriced.

There are a few ways individuals can obtain ice cream orders from online. They can be shipped to the door of the consumer. This requires customized packaging usually involving a foam cooler and dry ice. Orders can also be picked up at a given store location and redeemed with a voucher.

Major shipping companies have partnered with some of these online retailers. They guarantee the package will arrive frozen. Standard shipping allows seven to ten business days. Express and overnight shipping are also available.

Semi-trucks are the main form of ice cream delivery for bulk, commercial buys. These trucks have custom freezer systems built into the back to preserve the product for long drives. Since the late 1990s, many smaller, door-to-door ice cream service trucks directed at individual consumers have been run out of business by larger distributors.

Ice cream parlors are the most classic dessert shops. They are most commonly known for their walk-up, bar stool service but sometimes have been known to deliver. Specialty ice cream shops often have ice cream delivery for both commercial and individual buyers. Some college campuses have developed ice cream delivery services within a certain radius of campus.

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