Ice Cream Sales Boom In Snowed-In Oklahoma

Thursday, February 10th 2011, 4:57 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- Forget the bread, milk, and toilet paper. What shoppers are buying in larger numbers than you would ever imagine is ice cream.

That's what a store clerk told me the other night. I didn't believe it, so I made some calls.

You know what? It's true.

At the Blue Bell Creamery in Broken Arrow there's tons of ice cream – and sales manager Michael Blount says sales are booming.

"It's a comfort food," he said. "People are depressed; they eat certain foods. Ice cream is one of them."

Ever since just before the snow started falling 10 days ago, grocery stores have been really busy with customers buying large quantities of almost everything - including ice cream.

We found a cart full of Blue Bell as they were restocking the shelves last week. 

"Routes double and triple for what the daily sales were," Blount said.

Sales manager Michael Blount told me the last time they prepared to ship out this much ice cream was Fourth of July weekend.

Machines at Blue Bell run constantly 12 and a half hours a day. Each one fills 50 half gallons a minute that's 37,500 half gallons each day.

Hungry yet?

That number times three machines is more than 112,000 half gallons a day. Normally they tell me homemade vanilla is the top seller by about 5 to 1.

"We have seen through this, it doesn't matter - people are buying it," Blount said.

Whatever flavor they can get their hands on. Once they get it home, all the discomfort is outside.

"You can sit by the fireplace and eat ice cream. If you want it, you want it," said Blue Bell sales manager Michael Blount.

That's right. In fact I kind of want some right now, don't you?

The ice cream business is not recession proof, but it's close. Blue Bell told me that when the economy went bad a couple of years ago, their sales actually went up