A British ice cream cone manufacturer has had to lay on extra deliveries to deal with demand, as the popularity of the frozen treat soars in the extremely high temperatures.
Antonelli, producer of the only waffle cones to be made in the UK as well as ice-cream ingredients and decorations, said smaller, independent ice cream parlours have been asking for last-minute deliveries as they struggle to cope with demand.
National sales manager Gary Brooks told the PA news agency: “Manufacturers of ice cream, from small, independent parlours who make their own to bigger people, they’ll all look at the weather, and it’s the smaller ones that tend to get caught out a little bit because they’re never going to put as much stock down as, say, a Wall’s or something like that.”
He added: “They will look at the weather and go ‘Oh crikey, we’re gonna get wiped out in the next…’ so then they come to us and they need a delivery, like, tomorrow.
“That’s the biggest thing that affects us. is that people want that delivery instantly.”
“I mean, we have people (saying) ‘I need it next day’, ‘I need it on a Saturday’, we don’t normally do Saturdays.”
The Manchester-based company keenly monitors the Met Office forecasts in advance to ensure they have enough supply, but they have nonetheless needed to adapt to the current climate.
Mr Brooks said: “We’re expecting a busy time in the summer anyway just because of the nature of the business – but when you get a weather surge like this, we will see that our stocks that were maybe planned in for August and September selling will get depleted.”
He added: “Obviously we’ve known about this weather for a couple of weeks, because we’re looking at the long-term.
“We keep our eye on the weather all the time, because we know that it makes a massive difference in this industry. And as soon as the sun comes out, it’s a different business altogether. So, we will have to react production-wise, definitely.”
Asked about whether the hot temperatures were a boost to sales, he said: “The staycation was a massive thing for this industry last year because people remembered about Britain’s holiday (industry) and on British holidays, you eat ice cream. So that, and then a nice surge in weather now.
“It’s prolonged weather that really takes its toll. A short surge like this, it’s not a problem at all. If this carries on for three to four weeks, then we will be looking at that now and just trying to gauge what’s going to happen.
“Of course, we get very good at weather watching.”
Supermarket chain Iceland said it saw its best ever day for ice cream sales on Saturday, beating the previous record set in summer 2019 by as much as 12%.
The most popular ice cream product was the chain’s own brand strawberry and vanilla cones.