This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Here's How You Invest in Your Ice Cream and Eat it Too

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- July is National Ice Cream Month and investors may be considering opportunities in the frozen dairy brands. Americans consume on average 48 pints of ice cream each per year and have transformed ice cream sales from a strictly summertime business into a year-round profit-making enterprise.

There is no lack of independently owned ice cream shops across the country offering fresh and increasingly idiosyncratic flavors. But if you want to invest in ice cream, your flavors are few.

There's Dunkin' Brands (DNKN - Get Report), parent company of Baskin-Robbins, and Unilever (UL), which acquired Ben & Jerry's back in 2001.

Some see the ice cream industry as a seasonal business. Bill Mitchell, president of Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada, disagrees, noting his company has worked hard to achieve year-round profits.

Baskin-Robbins operates more than 7,300 stores worldwide. The business has expanded from the U.S. into hotter markets of the Middle East and Central and South America. Mitchell expect five to 10 new Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the U.S. this year, and Dunkin' Brands plans to open 300 to 400 Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins "combo" stores internationally.

Through these combo stores with Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin-Robbins has gained a younger audience and brand awareness. The move has also allowed the ice cream seller to more easily penetrate particular markets.

"It takes a long time to get such large scale and volume for an ice cream store," Mitchell says. "It took us over 40 years to do it. It takes brand awareness and it takes advertising dollars."

This is why so many shops are independently owned. He said ice cream is less of a seasonal business today and there are other ways to increase revenue during the winter months.

"We just have to change the way we do things when it isn't the peak of selling season or, as some people call it, the 'Sweet 16' weeks of summer," Mitchell says.

Baskin-Robbins partnered with Lafayette, California-based Boardwalk Frozen Treats this year, and Mitchell says he's working with retailers to distribute packaged products both domestically and in some international markets.

"We have to balance our portfolio," he remarks, adding the company is stepping up its sales of Greek yogurt flavors to appeal to the health-conscious consumer and is also augmenting its online sales operation.

Independent brands may not yet represent opportunities for investment, but hard working investors need a treat now and then. Consider it research. One of the companies on the following pages might someday be the next Baskin-Robbins.

1 of 7

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
DNKN $41.54 -3.36%
SBUX $54.14 -0.64%
YHOO $27.05 -3.29%
AAPL $95.01 1.05%
FB $99.75 -4.15%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,027.05 -177.92 -1.10%
S&P 500 1,853.44 -26.61 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,283.7530 -79.3910 -1.82%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs