Ice Cream Vans


Ice Cream Vans

Ice cream vans are an institution in Britain with many of those having grown up in the UK having had the experience of getting an occasional “treat” ice cream from the ice cream van outside of their school or at their local park. Operating street by street in residential areas also, these vans attract customers with loud enticing music to signal that they are in the local area and are open for business.

The ice cream van industry operates around a model in which the owner or renter of the van, purchases stock from a wholesaler or other low cost option and sells it on to the public at a higher price when the demand is higher on a sunny day or when there aren’t nearby refreshment options available.

The typical ice cream van stocks a variety of fizzy drinks, typically Coke, Fanta and Lemonade as well as bottles of water. Vans can often be seen stocking a selection of sweets and chocolate bars. Also importantly stocked is whipped vanilla ice cream, which can be found alongside the associated add-ons including ice cream cones, flakes, sprinkles and sauces.

The number of ice cream van operators, however, has drastically decreased over the last half century. In the 1950’s it is estimated that in Britain alone there were as many as 20,000 ice cream van operators active. That number has since decreased by a factor of four.[i]

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[i] (n.d.). How to Start a Mobile Ice Cream Business. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2020].

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