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Ice Cream Franchise Study

Franchise Direct has assessed the state of the ice cream franchise sector in the following report. In compiling this study, Franchise Direct examined after the UFOC’s of 18 franchises. It found an industry overcoming seasonality to provide a truly affordable luxury during hard financial times.


Ice cream franchises, like all businesses, are coping with challenging economic factors at the moment. This is simply another hurdle for ice cream franchises, which exist in an industry which is, by nature, seasonal. But Franchise Direct found that ice cream franchises have displayed a knack for innovation in recent years that makes them somewhat immune to changes in both the weather and the economy.

Ice CreamIndustry-wise, the study found an industry that is consolidating. While revenue across the industry has slipped 4% since 2004, total sales among the Top Ten Percent of ice cream franchises is up 32% over the same period. The Franchise Direct study found that the main consumers of ice cream are families and children, with the African-American community particularly loyal to this product. Of the 18 franchises assessed here, 8 have been franchising for four years or less, which shows a rapidly-developing industry.

While the quintessential image of the 1950’s ice cream parlor continues to exist in the minds of many consumers, today’s ice cream franchises come many shapes and sizes. The classic ice cream stores like Ben & Jerry’s and Carvel now compete with specialist ice-cream franchises like Marble Slab or Maggie Moo’s or mobile ice-cream franchises like Coolcycle.

Ice cream franchises have a proven track record of innovation which prepares them well for these uncertain economic times. With a range of healthy, low-fat products and an interest in green technologies, ice cream franchises have proven adaptable to changes in consumer taste. They have responded accordingly to the recession, marketing ice cream as a tasty and cheap treat.

Thanks to a perennially popular product and a range of franchise concepts, ice cream franchises are displaying resilience in what continues to be difficult economic times.

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