The ‘Made in Germany’ label can be found on cars, machines, weapons and cuckoo clocks, but also on ice cream. Nobody in the European Union produces as much of it as the Germans. Apparently, they also consume a whole lot of it.
Berlin, August 29th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — In 1879, the Sarcletti family opened one of the first ice cream parlors in Germany. That little shop in Munich was the beginning of a big love affair. Well, the Germans definitely like their meat and their potatoes, but they sure as hell love ice cream too.
Scoops and Popsicles
Obviously, ice cream does not equal ice cream. There are so many forms:
> Branded ice cream: It’s what the British call ice lolly and the Americans popsicle. This kind of ice cream is being manufactured in factories.
> Ice cream parlor ice cream: Usually sold in scoops, this kind is usually made by the ice cream parlors themselves, or by companies specialized in serving ice cream parlors.
> Soft ice cream: This kind is being sold at McDonald’s, other fast food places, and by street vendors with soft ice cream machines.
> Ice cream for home consumption is being offered at supermarkets in all kinds of versions.
Branded ice cream in Germany has a long tradition. Ask any German older than 30 or 40, and he or she will give you a one-hour speech about all of the ice cream they consumed since the invention of the wheel. The big manufacturers, including Langnese, a brand owned by the Hamburg-based Unilever group, developed nice looking products in all colors of the rainbow.
People who were children in West Germany in the 1970-s remember popsicles such as ‘Capri’. It consisted of water ice with orange flavor. A bit later, they created a verson called ‘Split’ that was filled with vanilla ice cream. A great combination. At some point, they changed the flavor of the water ice part and called it ‘Kuya Mara Split’. They even created popsicles which would arouse sexual associations, such as ‘Flutschfinger’ (‘Slip Finger’). And they had ‘Cornetto’, which is industrial ice cream in a cone. The strawberry version was (and probably still is) delicious.
Nowadays, new products of this kind are released every year. After the new millennium dawned, the big manufacturers developed the idea of converting popular chocolate bars into branded ice cream. How crazy is that? ‘Toblerone’ ice cream? Are you kidding me? ‘Mars’ and ‘Milky Way’ ice cream? There are so many brands today, it is hard to keep track of all of that stuff. Things are a lot easier at ice cream parlors. Scoops of vanilla, chocolate and lemon ice cream are offered there, but also more fancy flavors such as cake or cookie.
Most people might think most of the ice cream produced is licked away by children. Wrong. They just consume some 15 percent. Consumers who are 55 old older actually eat some 40 percent of all of that stuff. Yes, the Germans enjoy truckloads of ice cream. They consume it as if there were no tomorrow. But they also produce it.
In 2021, the European Union produced over 3.1 billion liters of ice cream, according to Eurostat. There is a 4% increase from the previous year. And guess what: Most of it came from Germany. All E.U. member states combined exported 254 million kilos (560 million pounds) last year, but they also imported 71 million kilos (156 million pounds) from non-E.U. countries. Europe’s ice cream imports decreased compared to the volume of 2020. On the other hand, the exports increased by 9 percent. Obviously, the sky is the limit.
Germany, the largest ice cream producer, made 614 million liters of ice cream in 2021. This is a whole lot. With 459 million liters, France hit the second place. The Italians were pretty good as well, with 381 million liters. As it turns out, Germany’s ice cream is the cheapest. The country sold it at a price of 1.40 Euro per liter, on average. France and Italy charged 2 Euro or more.
There is an odd aspect: While Germany is the largest European ice cream producer, France is the biggest exporter. The 57 million kilos (126 million pounds) the French exported accounted for 22 percent of extra-E.U. exports. Here, the Netherlands are the second-best, Italy the third and Germany the fourth. The Germans probably lick their own ice cream a little too much, which is why not that much is left for exports.