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The Cost of the Cone


Photo by Flickr user: Mike Saechang

I scream; You scream; We all scream for ice cream.

But the Boston Globe reports that the price of the dessert is increasing and we all might soon be screaming foul.

A single scoop now costs over $4 at Toscanini’s, a famous ice cream shop in Cambridge Massachusetts, a $.40 price increase since March. What is causing the price of the beloved scoop to go up?

To understand why it costs more it is important to look at the market for some of the ingredients. Ice cream is made up of milk, cream, sugar, and flavoring. The price of dairy is on the rise due to an increase in demand and cost of production. The amount of milk being exported from the United States has increased from about four percent ten years ago to fourteen percent now. Not only is there a high demand for dairy but the feed for the dairy cows is more expensive due to the expanding uses of corn, like ethanol production.

But higher dairy and feed prices are not the only factors effecting the price of ice cream. Volatile weather has also put a strain on sugar prices. With a cyclone in Australia and a drought in Russia and the Ukraine wiping out the sugar beet crops, prices are predicted to continue to go up.

But what would ice cream be without milk and sugar? These ingredients are necessary. As ice cream makers continue to pay the higher price for ingredients, they will have to charge higher retail prices. So next time you want a cone of Rocky Road how much will you pay? How much is too much?


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