Holy Cow! The Cost Behind Nitrogen Ice Cream
Ice cream from The Freezing Point is handcrafted right before your eyes. We start with high-end ingredients, leave out the preservatives, and serve it with flair. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and de-mystify the mystery of artisanal ice cream pricing.
Comparing us to your favorite store-bought pint
We can't compete with the price to that of ice cream you get in the freezer aisle.
The ice cream you pick up at the store is more economical because it's produced in very large quantities. Just one Ben & Jerry's factory can produce about 120,000 pints a day – that means they can buy ingredients at mega-wholesale prices.
The cost of artisanal nitrogen ice cream can't compare to that of national or even large regional brands, and it actually shouldn't. So why not?
Our ice cream is different, it’s made from scratch
Our ice cream is creamy and smooth because of the nitrogen, and tasty because we make it from scratch. Some catering companies opt for the cost effective pre-made ice cream base, and artificial flavorings, but that's not what we're up to. We want our ice cream to be natural, rich, and special.
When you buy items fresh it can get costly fast. Because numbers can get tricky, we decided to add this nifty graph to give you an inside look at our actual costs. Yes, these numbers are real; it's an inside sneak peak of my actual business costs.
We buy real ingredients. Meaning we go to the local markets and buy fresh dairy. And even with our merchant/bulk discounts, those ingredients still cost us around $15.28 for to make a gallon of vanilla bean ice cream. You can go to that same market, and buy a gallon worth of Blue Bell for around $11.94. Already we’re the pricier option and we haven’t frozen it yet!
Liquid nitrogen is definitely an item that gets cheaper by the liter when you buy in bulk. But even so, the cost of nitrogen to freeze a gallon of ice cream is more than the cost of the ingredients.
Apparently the Health Department doesn’t like it too much when caterer’s make items from home, go figure? So instead we work out of a Houston permitted kitchen (with a few other fellow caterers) to make our ice cream base. For small businesses renting kitchen space is usually based on an hourly fee structure.
The Big Sum
Drumroll! (We’re super excited you read this far!)
If you were to hire a catering company to come scoop Blue Bell for a 40 guest event. The ingredients and prep would cost them a base of $11.94.
If you were to hire The Freezing Point to come make and scoop nitrogen ice cream for a 40 guest event this would cost us $68.74.
Most likely your caterer is going to have to also price in:
the labor spent prepping for the event
labor for serving at the event
misc. items like cups, napkins, spoons
toppings (this can get crazy expensive for caterers)
profit (this whole time we've been talking costs)
And remember these costs are specific to our vanilla bean. Some of our other flavors are double or triple the costs to create.
Bigger the Party the Easier to Price
The good news is that my team has mastered whisking milk, cream, and sugar quickly. And can get a lot of gallons mixed in the rented kitchen space in a matter of hours. And nitrogen gets cheaper per liter the larger the tank size.
So although the 40 guest party may have quite a hefty internal cost for us, that isn’t necessarily so for our big events.
It certainly makes sense that exceptional ice cream requires a few exceptional numbers. Our customers are paying for a remarkable product and a truly unique experience. We hope you'll join us.