Manufactured Ice

SIC 2097

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category covers ice plants operated by public utilities and establishments manufacturing artificial ice for sale in the form of blocks or cubes; it excludes makers of dry ice, which are categorized in SIC 2813: Industrial Gases.

Technological advances freed consumers from their long dependence on the harvest of local, naturally occurring sources of ice by permitting first its export and then its manufacture. Whether by private companies or by public utilities, product was based on developments that also heralded the era of domestic refrigeration, and the ice trays found in most American kitchens became the major rival of commercial ice manufacturers. In terms of volume, however, domestic refrigerators could not compete with ice plants, and manufactured ice has sold well in outlets where goods for parties, receptions, and other events are routinely purchased.

In the first decade of the 2000s, ice manufacturers' products ranged from bags of ice cubes in varying quantities to blocks of ice in weights of 10 to 300 pounds. The larger blocks were particularly popular for ice carvings at outdoor festivals and banquet buffets.

According to Dun and Bradstreet, 647 establishments and 6,418 workers were engaged in the U.S. ice manufacturing industry in the late 2000s. Revenues for the industry reached $750.9 million in 2008. Texas was by far the top-producing state, with $377 million in sales.

Much of the industry's annual revenue depends on the weather. The warmer the temperature, the more consumers purchase ice. Logically, sales of manufactured ice are highest during the summer months of June, July, and August. Due to the ever-increasing efficiency of ice-making machinery and delivery, the wholesale price of ice has increased by only 5 cents since the late 1970s, to between 45 cents and 50 cents per pound in the late 2000s.

Purity is a primary issue among ice suppliers. Many ice suppliers have learned to enhance the purity of their product by creating a hole in the center of each cube and then flushing it, using water to rinse away the sulfur, iron, and other impurities that had concentrated there during the formation of the cube. Such purity concerned not only consumers but also businesses that required large quantities of ice to keep food cool and fresh. While those businesses could count on convenience and cheaper costs of ice produced in-house, ice-manufacturing specialists had the potential to create a product with greater purity.

Beginning in the late 1980s, legislation at various levels of government led to tightened controls on sanitation and an improved standard of quality in the ice industry. Mandated drug testing of truck drivers further regulated the industry.

Both the continuing quest for purity and a heightened consciousness about ecological issues on the part of consumers made for a promising development in the 1990s--the marketing of gourmet ice, as harvested from glaciers, springs, and other sources pre-dating or little affected by human pollution. While this trend represented a return to the very origins of the ice industry, another growing demand favored chewable ice. Chewable ice making machines, previously used primarily by the health care marketplace for patients unable to use larger cubes, became a growing industry in the 2000s. One report showed that more than 37 percent of foodservice operators who planned to purchase ice-making equipment in 2006 wanted a chewable ice making component, and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute reported that sales of machines that make easier-to-chew ice increased 23 percent in three years, reaching 16,673 units in 2006. Some food establishments, including Sonic Drive-Ins, sold chewable ice in cups and bags; one Sonic in Texas sold thirteen 10-pound bags in one week, according to the Wall Street Journal. Manufactuers of chewable ice also worked to incorporate the "chewability" factor into brand names, such as Chewblet, Nugget Ice, and Pearl Ice.

One of the major ice producers and distributors in the late 2000s was Reddy Ice Inc., of Dallas, Texas. As the largest U.S. maker of packaged ice, Reddy Ice had the capacity to make 18,000 tons of ice a day. The company had customers in 31 states and reported 2008 revenues of $329.3 million. In addition to producing ice in quantities from seven-pound bags to 300-pound blocks, Reddy Ice leased ice equipment, provided refrigerated warehousing, and bottled water. Another industry leader was Home City Ice Company Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1896, Home City Ice produced more than 4,400 tons of ice per day in 28 ice manufacturing plants and had reported sales of $80.0 million in 2008. Manitowoc Ice Inc., of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was a subsidiary of Manitowac Company and manufactured ice-making, beverage-dispensing, and refrigerating products. With more than 26 different models of ice machines, Manitowoc Ice had sales of $35.6 million in 2008. A more diversified company was IAP Worldwide Services Inc., of Cape Canaveral, Florida. IAP was a leading provider of support services and expertise to the U.S. Department of Defense, other federal customers, and state and foreign governments. Selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to procure and transport emergency packaged ice during the 2006 hurricane season, IAP established alliances with 230 ice suppliers and 350 trucking companies.

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News and information about Manufactured Ice

At Least 47 Children Fall Sick after Eating Contaminated Ice Cream
United News of India; September 5, 2017; 330 words
...Health Centre at Salkhua.He said, the sale of ice cream had been banned in the affected area and the factory which manufactured ice cream had also been sealed. He said an additional team of doctors was also sent to the hospital.Meanwhile, Saharsa...
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Press-Telegram; September 9, 2016; 700+ words
...additional, similar companies that may one day include a firm that sells what he calls whole-food ice cream - or pre-manufactured ice cream with a high percentage of natural ingredients.Besides BevMo, New Direction Foods also has deals to sell...
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Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; October 6, 2016; 700+ words
...Restaurants, the company where Mr. Greubel served as president from 1989 to 2009. His grandfather, Joseph A. Greubel, manufactured ice cream in Derry starting in 1884.Blystone is company president, and it's not a stretch to say the Greubel family...
Bloomington's Love Affair with Ice Cream Goes Way Back
The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL; August 3, 2014; 700+ words
...Laesch closed its signature Dairy Barn convenience stores in 1994 and remained in the wholesale business for another year or two before bowing out for good. Home delivery of its locally manufactured ice cream had ended well before that time.
Mobile Booth Sherbert and Orange Juice Maybe Contaminated
The Daily Mirror (Colombo, Sri Lanka); April 9, 2015; 329 words
...recommended for drinking.The CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said the cools drinks were prepared using unhygienically manufactured ice and sold to thousands of consumers who come to Colombo during the festive season.Marzook while cautioning the public...
The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL; July 18, 2014; 336 words
100 years ago July 18, 1914: There was excitement on the south side when crews drilling a well for the Manufactured Ice Company struck a pocket of gas. The result was a gusher that sent sand and water 100 feet into the air. The strike...
Homegrown ice helped make Bloomington cool place to live
The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL; November 27, 2011; 700+ words
...industrial concern that produced "manufactured" ice year round. And with the boost...1891 to the early 1970s, the Manufactured Ice and Cold Storage Co. dominated...the beginning of the end for Manufactured Ice's robust home delivery business...
Ice Cutters Harvested 'Crystal Treasure' from Lakes, Ponds
The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL; March 10, 2013; 700+ words
...and the widespread adoption of manufactured ice and home iceboxes, most folks...developed industrial process of manufactured ice. Unaffected by the vagaries...incidentally, Bloomington's first manufactured ice plant opened sometime in the...

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