By: Lauren Saccone
The heat wave that’s hit the Northeast this week already has people in a foul mood. The first day of summer on Wednesday saw New York City hitting temperatures well into the nineties. Tensions are high and everyone is looking for ways to keep cool. But one of the most beloved and reliable ways to chill out in the hot weather is in short supply.
The Good Humor ice cream that has become synonymous with summer is facing a serious shortage. Parent company Unilever PLC blames the spike in sales on the unseasonably hot weather. People have been stocking up on their favorite frozen treats to combat the heat. Unfortunately, the increase in demand means that there are fewer Chocolate Éclair, Candy Center Crunch, and Toasted Almond bars to go around.
Further complicating matters is the fact that the company is in the process of shutting down its primary Good Humor factory in Maryland. With reduced resources available for production, the unexpectedly early summer has resulted in an ice cream crisis that is sure to put a damper on summer.
Before you panic over the idea of a long, hot three months without a single Good Humor bar, keep this in mind: the only ice cream bars experiencing a shortage are those sold out of trucks. The ones you purchase at the grocery store are safe.
Ice cream vendors are worrying that this shortage will eat into their profits at the time of year when they should be at their highest. After all, a heat weave is the ideal time to dig into a frozen treat. But people aren’t happy to hear that their favorite desserts are out of stock.
“It sucks to tell someone you don’t have something,” said Billy Pavone, an ice cream shop owner in New York. “In most cases, they’ll just pick something else, but they’ll look a little disgusted.”
A spokesman for the company has assured the public that the problem should be solved “by mid-summer,” but that’s cold comfort to those suffering from cravings now.
Some see the loss of being able to purchase a Good Humor bar from an ice cream truck on a hot summer day as more than purely economic. For others, it’s the loss of a sense of nostalgia that has been around for over half a century.
“The Toasted Almond’s such an old-time thing from the 1950s,” ice cream truck company owner Brian Collis told Gawker. “It’s such a basic thing we’ve always had. Now everybody’s missing it.”
Some people aren’t content with finding an alternative ice cream to beat the heat. Long Island legislator David Denenberg went so far as to call a news conference on Wednesday, marking the first day of summer with a complaint about the state of ice cream in the Northeast. Denenberg has even started a petition in hopes that with enough outcry, this ice cream tragedy will come to an end.
But from the looks of things, Good Humor doesn’t expect any concrete ice cream increase until late July. And with other ice cream brands already struggling to deal with the upswing in demand, it looks like the beginning of a looooong summer.
[Pic via Flickr - Zoe]