Sweet as it can be, ice cream is a frozen dessert typically created from dairy products, such as cream and milk, and every so often mixed with other ingredients, such as fruits, and flavors.
Frozen custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, and more - the styles and varieties of ice cream differ from one country to another, and the number keeps rising. In the U.S., the phrase "ice cream" pertains to only one variety, and the government standardizes the commercial use of the numerous terms and based on the comparative amounts of the key ingredients. The most popular flavors of ice cream in the U.S. are chocolate and vanilla.
Quaker colonists who brought along their recipes were the first to introduce ice cream in the U.S. People who made sweets started to sell ice cream at their confectioneries in New York and other cities over the course of the colonial period.
It was in the latter half of the 20th century when ice cream started to be widely known across the world, after economical refrigeration went into mass production. For that reason, ice cream stores sprouted out of nowhere, along with various types and flavors of the dessert. Confectioners customarily marketed and competed against the competition based on the number of varieties. At the time, Baskin-Robbins was at the forefront with its 31 flavors for each day of the month. It was the foundation of the ice cream parlor's marketing strategy. The company claims it has come up with more than a thousand varieties over the years.
A key improvement during the 20th century was the arrival of the cheaper soft ice cream. With more air added to the key ingredients, it helped cut the costs of ice cream production. It heralded the coming of the soft ice cream machine wherein customers order a cone filled with the sweet course under a spigot. In the U.S., Carvel, Dairy Queen, and Tastee-Freez led the way to establish the chains of outlets for soft-serve ice cream.
In the 1980s, premium and "super-premium" varieties with thicker ice creams were sold by well-known brands, such as Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs. The thickness of the composition is in terms of percent by weight. The weight may be reduced up to half of the original amount if mentioned in terms of volume. However, when it comes to dietary concerns, the weight percentage is more relevant. As a result, low-fat products will still have high caloric content.
Ice cream frozen by liquid nitrogen is a relatively older method and has been in use for several years to freeze ice cream. The use of liquid nitrogen as the main freezer for ice cream has only recently went into full swing through commercialization. The most notable brands that use this method include Dippin' Dots.
To extend their reach and engage with consumers, ice cream makers have ramped up their efforts in social media marketing and advertising. To mark the National Ice Cream Month celebration in July, TrackMaven and iStrategyLabs have released an infographic to show the most popular ice cream makers in the U.S. in terms of fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Klout.