So the ice cream business is more interesting than I would’ve guessed:

Fun fact #1: Dreyer’s is the world’s largest ice cream company, doing more than $2 billion  (BILLION) in business annually.  And they’re headquartered in Oakland.  I had no idea.

Fun fact #2: They own Häagen-Dazs.

#2.a: Häagen-Dazs is an entirely American company, the name means absolutely nothing in any language, it just sounded scandanavian and everybody knows that the best ice cream (and flat-pack furniture) comes from our nordic northern neighbors.  The company was started by two Polish immagants in New York in 1959.

Fun fact #3: Dreyer’s has several large ice cream factories in the US.  One of them is a, ” very small but very efficient plant” located in Salt Lake City.  Why there?  Because, ice cream is apparently, at the molecular level, a frozen foam-like substance whose volume is primarily empty space.  Air, as everyone learned in high school physics (PV=nRT) changes its volume depending on the atmosphereic pressure present.  So, if you have a frozen substance made of mostly air that is produced, say, at sea level, and then transported to, say, Denver, the change in atmospheric pressure will cause said ice-cream to expand and rupture its packaging.  Thus, ice cream destined for high-altitude markets has to be produced at a high altitude, hence a small plant for the Rockies located in Salt Lake City.

SF Chronicle: Dreyer’s CEO keeps cool in tough times


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