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Scoop up success: Why you should consider starting an ice cream business today!

Ice cream is a beloved treat that has been enjoyed by people across the globe for centuries. Today, with the ice cream industry continuing to grow and evolve, it's the perfect time to jump in and start your very own ice cream business.

kids waiting for ice cream

In this guide, we'll explore why you should consider starting an ice cream van business, the profitability of these ventures, the steps needed to set up a successful ice cream shop, and much more.

So, let's dive in and discover why now is the perfect time to scoop up success with an ice cream business!

Introduction to the ice cream industry

The ice cream industry is a thriving, ever-expanding market with endless possibilities for entrepreneurs to succeed. With unique flavours and innovative concepts continuously being introduced, there's never a dull moment in the world of ice cream.

What's more, ice cream has a nearly universal appeal. From children to adults, everyone loves a tasty, frozen treat on a hot day, making it an excellent business opportunity for those with the passion and drive to succeed.

Globally, the ice cream industry is worth billions of pounds, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With advancements in technology and new trends emerging, the possibilities for growth and innovation in the ice cream market are endless. 

Types of customers

Despite common misconceptions, mobile ice cream ventures appeal to more than just kids. There's a diverse range of occasions and clientele to cater to.

Certain mobile ice cream enterprises focus on specialised customer segments by offering distinct ice cream selections.

For instance, you might opt to exclusively provide organic or vegan ice cream, tailoring your offerings to particular events and consumer demographics.

Families with children

The primary target market for a mobile ice cream business is families with young children, as they are more likely to enjoy sweet treats and have parents who are willing to indulge in ice cream purchases.

For example: Set up your mobile ice cream truck near playgrounds, parks, and family-oriented events to cater to these customers.


People on holiday are more likely to treat themselves to ice cream and other indulgences.

For example: Park your mobile ice cream truck near popular tourist attractions, beaches, and other holiday hotspots to attract these customers.

College students and young adults

College students and young adults often enjoy socialising and indulging in ice cream as a break from studying or work.

For example: Position your mobile ice cream truck near college campuses, bars, or popular hangout spots to cater to this demographic.

Corporate events and private parties

Many companies and individuals are interested in hiring food trucks for their events as an exciting and unique catering option.

For example: Offer your mobile ice cream business as a catering option for corporate events, birthday parties, and other celebrations.

Sporting events and outdoor festivals

Attendees at sporting events and outdoor festivals are often looking for refreshing treats to enjoy while watching the game or performance.

For example: Partner with local sports teams and event organisers to set up your mobile ice cream truck at these events.

Food truck rallies and community events

Food truck rallies, farmers markets, and other community gatherings are a great opportunity to showcase your mobile ice cream business to a diverse audience.

For example: Participate in local food truck rallies and community events to gain exposure and expand your customer base.

Seasonal events and holidays

During holidays or seasonal events, people are more likely to indulge in special treats and celebrate with friends and family.

For example: Offer themed ice cream flavours or promotions during holidays like Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day to capitalise on the increased demand for treats during these times. 

Equipment you may need

Embarking on a mobile ice cream business is an exciting venture, and having the right equipment is crucial for success.

To ensure you're well-prepared, let's explore the essential equipment you may need to start a mobile ice cream business. 


  • A mobile ice cream van complete with on-board freezers
  • An ice cream tricycle accompanied by a car
  • An ice cream lorry.

If your ice cream enterprise won't operate from a vehicle, such as opting for a pop-up food stand, you'll most likely need a separate vehicle for transportation.

This vehicle would either require integrated freezers or an investment in portable freezers.


Numerous utensils may be necessary for your investment, depending on the kind of ice cream you plan to offer. For instance, soft-serve ice cream demands fewer utensils since it's dispensed from a machine.

Some examples of utensils to consider include:

  • Ice cream scoops
  • Dippers
  • Spades
  • Topping spoons

Soft-serve ice cream machine

These can be bought or rented.

Handwashing station

Consider owning a mobile sink, a sanitising station, or simply providing a hand sanitiser bottle.

Accessories and equipment

A vast array of accessories are available for your mobile ice cream enterprise. These might consist of:

  • Topping distributor
  • Cone holder
  • Sauce/syrup containers, pumps, or dispensers
  • Dipping storage
  • Cash register and Point of Sales System
  • Single-use or reusable ice cream bowls/cups

The assortment of accessories you incorporate can differ greatly, so it's advisable to only invest in the essentials during the initial phase of your budding ice cream van business.

Eating area

A number of mobile ice cream businesses choose to provide a sitting section for their customers. This may consist of furnishings like tables and chairs, along with a canopy or umbrellas for sun protection.

It's essential to remain in a single location throughout the day and guarantee sufficient room for setting up the comfortable seating zone.

Why should you consider starting an ice cream business?

people laughing and eating ice cream

If you're still asking yourself, "should I start up an ice cream business?" here are some compelling reasons to give it serious consideration:

  • Broad appeal: As mentioned earlier, ice cream is a treat enjoyed by people of all ages, making it a product with a wide customer base.
  • Creativity and innovation: The ice cream industry is constantly evolving, allowing business owners to experiment with new flavours, textures, and presentation styles.
  • Low barriers to entry: Depending on the type of ice cream business you want to start, the initial investment can be relatively low, making it an accessible option for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The profitability of ice cream businesses

You may be wondering, "are ice cream businesses profitable?" The answer is a resounding yes! Ice cream shops can enjoy healthy profit margins, particularly during the peak summer months.

The key to maximising profitability lies in offering unique products, efficient operations, and effective marketing.

When it comes to the cost of goods sold, ice cream ingredients are typically inexpensive, and the ability to create your own flavours allows you to control costs further.

Additionally, by offering a variety of products, such as ice lollies, shakes, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches, you can increase your average ticket price and boost overall profits.

Learn more about how much money- an ice cream van makes in the UK in a recent blog on our site.

Steps to setting up an ice cream business

Now that we've established the potential profitability of ice cream businesses let's discuss the steps you'll need to take to set up your own successful venture:

  • Research the market: Begin by researching your local market, including potential competitors and target demographics. Our 20 top tips on how to start your own ice cream van business may come in handy here.
  • Create a business plan: Outline your goals, target market, product offerings, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.
  • Choose a business structure: Decide whether you'll operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership or LTD company.
  • Secure funding: Determine your startup costs and explore financing options, such as loans or investment from friends and family.
  • Obtain necessary permits and licences: Research your local regulations and ensure you have the necessary permits and licences to operate legally. You can find out more information on this on

Choosing the right location for your ice cream business

The location of your ice cream business is a critical factor in its success. When selecting a site, consider factors such as:

  • Foot traffic
  • Visibility
  • Proximity to complementary businesses

Busy shopping centres, tourist attractions, and parks are all excellent options for attracting potential customers. Also, consider the demographics of the area.

Is there a large population of families with children? Are there nearby schools or universities?

These factors can heavily influence the success of your ice cream shop.

Developing a unique ice cream menu

One of the keys to standing out in the ice cream industry is offering a unique and memorable menu. Experiment with different flavours, textures, and ingredients to create signature offerings that will entice customers to visit your shop.

Additionally, consider offering vegan or dairy-free options, as well as seasonal specials, to cater to a wider audience and keep your menu fresh and exciting.

Marketing strategies for a successful ice cream business

To ensure the success of your ice cream business, it's essential to implement effective marketing strategies. Here are some ideas to help you promote your ice cream shop:

  • Social media: Utilise platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to showcase your products, share news and promotions, and engage with your customers.
  • Local events: Participate in community events, such as festivals or farmers' markets, to increase brand awareness and generate buzz.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with other local businesses, schools, or organisations for cross-promotional opportunities.
  • Loyalty programs: Implement a loyalty program to encourage repeat visits and reward your most loyal customers.

Check out 20 more easy marketing tips on a recent blog on our site. 

Managing the seasonality of the ice cream industry

One challenge ice cream business owners face is the seasonality of the industry. While ice cream sales tend to peak during the warmer months, it's crucial to plan for the slower winter season.

Diversify your menu with items that can be enjoyed year-round, such as hot beverages, baked goods, or seasonal ice cream flavours.Consider hosting events or offering promotions during the off-season to encourage traffic. 

Resources and support for ice cream entrepreneurs

If you're looking to start an ice cream business, there are numerous resources and support networks available to help you along the way.

Industry associations, such as The Ice Cream Alliance, offer valuable information, networking opportunities, and educational materials for aspiring ice cream entrepreneurs.

Consider seeking out mentorship from experienced ice cream shop owners or attending industry conferences and trade shows to broaden your knowledge and make valuable connections. 

Success stories of thriving ice cream businesses

There are countless success stories of entrepreneurs who have turned their passion for ice cream into thriving businesses. From small, family-owned shops to innovative, trendsetting brands, these success stories serve as inspiration for those looking to break into the ice cream industry.

Take, for example, the story of Ben & Jerry's, which began as a small ice cream parlour in Vermont and has since grown into an iconic global brand.

Or consider the meteoric rise of ice cream brands like Halo Top and Magnum Ice Creams, which have garnered both international and national attention for their unique flavours and commitment to quality. 

Why now is the perfect time to scoop up success with an ice cream business

ice cream platter

In conclusion, there's never been a better time to start your own ice cream business. With the industry experiencing steady growth and an ever-expanding market for innovative, unique products, the potential for success is immense.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to scooping up success in the ice cream industry.

Please call us on 01926454907 to speak to one of our friendly specialists or click here to receive a quote online.

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