It’s the weather for an ice-cream run. In Ireland when the sun appears and the sky turns that hypnotic shade of blue, thoughts turn to what’s in the ice-cream fridge in the local shop. You might even wait for the ice cream van chimes (despite the best efforts of some public representatives) to reach your road.
What’s fascinating to see when you pull back the glass lid on that fridge or stand at the van window is that there are an awful lot of names who’ve not only survived the test of time, but who thrive sunny season after sunny season. Loop the Loop, Wibbly Wobbly Wonder, Orange Split, 99s, cones with sprinkles: it reads like an Irish take on John Grant’s “I Wanna Go To Marz”.
Aside from the obvious decommissioning of the Golly bar and some packaging changes, there has been very little disruption in the fridge. The biggest change has been the arrival of various posh premium brands to go with the slight bump in disposable income we had when we all partied. But our good selves from 20 or 30 years ago would have no problem working out what we want from today’s selection.
Sometimes, you actually don’t need to change your product all that much to keep them coming back. The short ice cream season helps, of course, but that hasn’t prevented various product innovations and enhancements over the years as people justify their salaries and titles.
Few of these changes, though, find a space for themselves in the long-term because the right mould was cast a long time ago. Often, the hardest thing to do is accept that you’ve a winner on your hands and be happy with that. Judging by the fact that there wasn’t a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder to be had in our local shop the last few days, the problem is just keeping up with supply.