10 Largest Ice Cream Companies In The United States

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The United States Ice Cream industry surged in 2020, with total sales reaching $6.97 billion, representing an increase of 13.4% over the previous year.

Much of this growth was due to increased demand for pre-packaged bulk ice cream products.

Many experts expect the ice cream industry to continue growing rapidly over the next decade, albeit at a lower rate than 2020. The current consensus seems to be a CAGR of 3.01% from 2021 through 2026.

This article will discuss the ten largest ice cream companies in the United States by annual revenue to provide greater insight into the industry.

We’ll briefly cover each company’s history, as well as examine their flagship products and production capabilities.

  1. Ben & Jerry’s Jobs (Overview)

  2. Blue Bell Creameries Jobs (Overview)

  3. Humor-Breyers Ice Cream Jobs (Overview)

  4. Dreyer’s Jobs (Overview)

  5. Wells Enterprises Jobs (Overview)

10 Largest Ice Cream Companies By Annual Revenue

  1. Private label.2020 Annual Revenue: $1.304 billion

    The United States ice cream market is dominated by small private labels that sell their ice cream locally. Private label sales in 2020 alone amounted to 392 million units, more than double that of the top solo brand, Ben Jerry’s.

    Although not an actual company, we included this at the top of the list as it demonstrates a key aspect of the ice cream industry. Research and industry experts have all found that consumers value ice cream brands that they perceive to be local and homegrown.

    As you’ll soon see, most of the largest solo ice cream brands try to adopt this same image in their advertising and branding efforts.

  2. Ben & Jerry’s. Burlington, Vermont2020 Annual Revenue: $863.1 million

    Ben Jerry’s is the world’s largest manufacturer of ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt by annual revenue. The company operated independently from its founding in 1978 to 2000, when British conglomerate Unilever acquired it.

    Ben Jerry’s operates production facilities in three states, as well as the Netherlands and Israel. The company is well-known for its wide selection of 54 different flavors, with its best-selling variant being cookie dough.

    Much of their early success has been attributed to this wide selection of flavors that customers could choose from, which was not common in the ice cream industry.

    Ben Jerry’s has also received a great deal of both criticism and praise for their various statements over the years on U.S politics. The company frequently engages in social activism, and its founders have stated such activities as part of the organization’s core values.

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Blue Bell Creameries. Brenham, Texas2020 Annual Revenue: $671.4 million

Founded in 1907, Blue Bell originally started as a butter manufacturer operating solely in Brenham, Texas.

The company entered the ice cream industry in the early 1920s and eventually abandoned the butter-making business to expand its ice cream operations across the entire Southern United States.

As of 2021, Blue Bell still operates primarily in the American south, with its northernmost sales territories being Indianapolis and Denver.

Although Blue Bell isn’t the largest ice cream company in the country, it far outsells the competition in every state in which it operates. In Texas, for example, the company enjoys a 52% share of the market.

Blue Bell employs 2,800 workers across its three American-based production facilities. These facilities collectively produce over 100 pints each minute during operating hours.

The company currently sells 66 flavors of ice cream, with the most popular being Homemade Vanilla.

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Haagen Dazs. Minneapolis, MN2020 Annual Revenue: $664.4 million

Haagen Dazs was founded in 1960 and operated as an independent creamery until 1983 when the Pillsbury Company acquired it.

General Mills later acquired Pillsbury in 2001 and currently still owns the Haagen Dazs brand. This company may be a surprising entry on this list due to its Danish-sounding name.

However, the name was an invention of company founders Rose and Reuben Mattis, who wanted customers to associate the company with Denmark’s well-respected dairy industry.

Haagen Dazs markets itself as a premium brand. It sells many traditional ice cream flavors such as vanilla and chocolate and unique ones such as Bananas Foster and Vanilla Swiss Almond.

The company manufactures most of its products in a General Mills-owned factory in Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines, France.

Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey2020 Annual Revenue: $525.9 million

The Breyers Ice Cream Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of British conglomerate Unilever. The company produces various frozen desserts, such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, and gelato.

Its ice cream products are not labeled as such in the United States due to them not meeting milk-content labeling requirements for ice cream. The company instead simply markets them as “Frozen Dairy Dessert.”

Breyers and its parent company do not own the yogurt brand, also called “Breyers.” Unilever originally acquired the Breyers ice cream brand from Kraft in 1993, but Kraft retained the name for yogurt products.

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Turkey Hill Dairy. Conestoga, Pennsylvania2020 Annual Revenue: $337 million

Turkey Hill Dairy, commonly called Turkey Hill, is an international producer and distributor of ice cream, iced tea, and other frozen desserts.

The company began in 1931 and operated independently until Kroger acquired it in 1985. Kroger later sold it in 2019 to private equity firm Peak Rock Capital, which still owns the brand.

Turkey Hill Dairy produces over 29 million U.S gallons of ice cream each year. These are sold in 72 different flavors and come in various product lines such as Premium Ice Cream, Stuff’d, and All Natural Ice Cream.

It also produces themed flavors of ice cream through its partnerships with other dessert brands such as Tootsie Roll Industries’ Junior Mints, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, and Snyder’s of Hanover.

Turkey Hill Dairy maintains partnerships with major sports teams such as the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Phillies.

The company has been an early adopter of green energy in powering its operations.

In 2011, it partnered with PPL Renewable Energy to purchase electricity generated by several General Electric-owned wind farms. The power generated by these wind farms accounts for 25% of the company’s total annual electricity usage.

Dreyer’s. Oakland, California2020 Annual Revenue: $229.1 million

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Froneri, a joint venture formed between PAI Partners and Nestle. The company sells ice cream under the Dreyer’s brand in the Western United States and Texas and under the Edy’s name in the Midwest.

As of 2020, Dreyer’s employed 2,400 in its seven production facilities spread across the United States. These facilities collectively produce three million gallons of ice cream each year.

The company’s Bakersfield, California and Laurel, Maryland factories rank among the largest of their kind in the world.

One of Dreyer’s products’ most iconic selling points is the slow-churn process used to make their products. The company claims that the process allows them to achieve the same texture and taste as normal ice cream with a lower amount of sugar and fat.

The company currently sells 78 flavors of ice cream, the most popular being Classic Vanilla and Mint Chocolate Chip.

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Wells Enterprises, Inc. LeMars, Iowa2020 Annual Revenue: $201.9 million

Wells Enterprises is the largest family-owned ice cream producer in the United States. In addition to its flagship ice cream brand of Blue Bunny, the company also produces ice cream under the labels of Bomb Pop, St.Creamery, and Weight Watchers Ice Cream.

Wells Enterprises’ ice cream products all bear a seal titled “Real Ice Cream.” This was in response to the FDA changing the labeling requirements for “Ice Cream” in 2009, which led to many competitor’s products falling outside the definition.

Wells Enterprises also owns the single largest ice cream manufacturing facility globally, which has led to their branding the location as the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.”

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Talenti. Minneapolis, MN2020 Annual Revenue: $197 million

Talenti is the largest producer of gelato and sorbet in the United States. The company was founded in 2003 and operated independently until 2014, when its current parent company, Unilever, acquired it.

Although they do have a few independent storefronts across various states, most of their products are sold in pre-packaged pint, quart, and half-gallon containers at large retail stores such as Walmart.

The company currently offers 30 flavors of sorbet and gelato.

In addition to marketing itself as a premium brand, Talenti has also recently focused on expanding its image as an environmentally sustainable brand. All Talenti packaging is 100% recyclable, and the marketing material from the company often reminds consumers of the fact.

The company produces over 300,000 pints of gelato across various Unilever-owned production facilities.

Tillamook. Tillamook, Oregon2020 Annual Revenue: $195.4 million

The Tillamook County Creamery Association, branded simply as Tillamook, is a dairy cooperative that manufactures, distributes, and sells various dairy products across the United States.

Their most popular product is Tillamook Cheddar, but they also produce ice cream, yogurt, and butter.

Tillamook markets its ice cream as a premium brand. Much of their marketing material places emphasis on the ultra-smooth textures and artisanal ingredients found in their products.

The cooperative employs over 900 people and operates nearly 100 dairy farms, mostly within the county of Tillamook, Oregon. Tillamook Creamery, the cooperative’s ice cream division, produces all of its ice creams at two factories located in Tillamook and Boardman, Oregon.

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