The peculiar love of Germans for spaghetti ice cream
Rising ball prices of up to 2.50 euros lead to a significant decline in ice cream consumption. But with a delicacy, fans make an exception.
Eis makes you happy. Unsurprisingly, this is what Uniteis, the Union of Italian Ice Cream Manufacturers, claims. The industry association of ice cream parlors in Germany even provides scientific evidence for this statement.
The Institute of Psychiatry in London found in a study that just a spoonful of ice cream is enough to switch on the pleasure centers in the human brain. The same regions would also be activated by winning money or listening to our favorite music, the neuroscientists found using so-called brain-imaging techniques that link human behavior and brain activity.
Incidentally, vanilla ice cream was served at the study presentation in the British capital. In general, you can’t go wrong with this flavor. In any case, vanilla has been the most popular type of ice cream in Germany for many years, followed by chocolate, stracciatella and strawberry, as Uniteis reports. “Nothing new this year either,” says the Gelatieri. In fact, Salted Caramel is the only new addition to the top ten. When it comes to sundaes, there can only be one for Germans: spaghetti ice cream is the undisputed number one in the German ice cream charts.
Cold happiness has its price, however. With the start of the new season, a scoop of ice cream sometimes costs significantly more than in previous years. Uniteis cannot name average prices. However, observations have shown that some of the approximately 9,000 ice cream parlors in Germany are already charging two or even 2.50 euros per scoop. “Prices have to go up,” says Uniteis spokeswoman Annalisa Carnio. “Because the costs have to be covered. Otherwise the companies cannot survive.”
The increasing expenses are also causing problems for the ice cream manufacturers, be it with raw materials such as milk, cream, fruit and nuts or with energy and personnel. Nevertheless, ice cream parlors in Germany are still relatively cheap, says Carnio. “Compared to prices in other countries.”
Industrial ice cream manufacturers such as Unilever (Langnese), Froneri Schöller or DMK Eis offer alternatives to traditional gelaterias. However, 2021 was not a particularly good year for them. According to the Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI), sales in Germany fell by almost seven percent to 537.6 million liters. Per capita consumption fell from 8.2 to 7.9 liters, which is the equivalent of around 113 scoops of ice cream.
Ernst Kammerinke, Managing Director of the Branded Ice Cream division in the BDSI, names the unstable weather as the main reason. Especially in the rainy summer months of July and August, Germans ate significantly less ice cream than in a normal summer.
The corona pandemic also had an effect, given the fact that restaurants, cafés, swimming pools and amusement parks were closed for weeks. Under these circumstances, a per capita consumption of almost eight liters is still quite respectable, says industry representative Kammerinke.
This year, however, the negative trend has continued so far. The market research company GfK Group reports a drop of 8.2 percent for January to April compared to the previous year for the approximately 2.3 billion euro segment of industrial ice cream in Germany. Hopes now lie in glorious summer weather and that ice cream will be that little extra that consumers treat themselves to despite inflation concerns. In the ice cream parlor as in the supermarket.
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