Its All About Ice:
January 31, 2008
Retailers and manufacturers realize that ice is the
year 'round hot snack and a tongue-numbing industry
is created. Fans debate the best for crunching - Chewblets,
Nugget Ice, Pearl Ice - but the shaved version, in a
glass and with enough water to temporarily fuse the
ice, is a classic.
NEW YORK -- Chewing ice as an
alternative to potato chips or French fries is becoming
a hot snack trend in the United States, according
to The Wall Street Journal.
Drive-In franchises sell it in cups and in bags
to go. Ice-machine makers are competing to make the
best chewable ice, with names like Chewblet, Nugget
Ice and Pearl Ice. One manufacturer calls the ice-loving
South the "Chew Belt."
Sonic Corp., the big drive-in sandwich
chain, switched to Scotsman
nugget ice machines more than 20 years ago -- a
development that gave chewable ice a much bigger
profile, writes Wall Street Journal.Also known as
"cubelets" or "Sonic ice," the
fluffy pellets are sold at many Sonic franchises
by the cup or the 10-pound bag. "Until I started
working for Sonic, I didn't realize people were
that nuts about ice." Paul Pollok, a partner
at a store in San Antonio, told the newspaper.
Sales of machines that make easier-to-chew ice jumped
about 23 percent to 16,673 units in 2006 from 2003,
according to data from the Air-Conditioning and
Refrigeration Institute. Some ice chewers, including
country-music star VINCE GILL, have had the
machines installed in their homes.
Chewy ice is also popular in the convenience store
Convenience Stores in Georgia is known among
locals for its chewy ice, which is also popular
among teen shoppers. NACS proflied Parker's and
its chewy ice in the 2007 NACS.
We hear positive
comments on our ice every day from customers,
says Colin Ury, Vice President, Business Affairs
Time. Scotsman Nugget Ice has played an invaluable
role in his companys fountain beverage programs
success for more than 15 years. Its
quite simple, he says, Customers really
love our ice and have grown to think of it as our
own. They even refer to it as Taco Time ice.
WHAT DO YOU CRAVE?