An ice-cream is a wondrously versatile thing: as an impulse buy, most children as well as many adults can happily consume it any time of the day or night; as a planned `sweet dish', homemakers serve it to round off a meal; it can be eaten to mark an occasion, or to break the monotony of study-filled evenings, or to cool off on lazy, hot afternoons.
Ice cream started off as a novelty and then became a dessert. Now it's about making it more fun. And to make it more fun you have to use the goodness that's available to us in its main ingredients.
The idea of selling frozen ice - cream cones had long been a dream of ice-cream makers, but it wasn't until 1959 that Spica, an Italian ice-cream manufacturer based in Naples conquered the problem of the ice-cream making the cone go soggy. An ice cream cone is a cone-shaped pastry usually made of a wafer in which ice cream is served, permitting it to be eaten without a bowl or spoon. Paper and metal cones were used during the 19th century in France, Germany and Britain for eating ice cream.
The first reference to an edible cone can be found in Mrs. A. B. Marshall's Cookery Book. Mrs. Marshall was an influential innovator and greatly popularized ice cream in Britain.
Spica registered the name Cornetto ice-cream in 1960. Initial sales of this delicious ice-cream cone were poor, but in 1976 Unilever bought out Spica and began a mass-marketing campaign throughout Europe. It is now one of the most popular ice-creams in the world. People's lives are changing fast. As the way we all live and work evolves, our needs and tastes change too. The Unilever Company keeps developing new ice-cream products, improving tried and tested brands and promoting better, more efficient ways of working.
Unilever is an Anglo Netherlands company which owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever's ice cream brands include Cornetto, Magnum, Viennetta and Ben and Jerry's. As summer draws to a close the company is busier than ever looking at ways that it can increase the appeal of delicious ice-cream. And it is working on new technologies that would seem more suited to Nasa than a food company.
Unilever has been practicing weird science in ice cream for more than 50 years. In its ice cream business alone it employs 150 scientists and spends $35 million dollars a year on research and development. The division has 120 patents and has hi-tech gelati labs in Rome and Bedfordshire. Unilever believes that by procuring healthier milk it can produce healthier and more delicious ice-cream. And their ice cream should be a winner with customers, who currently spends $ 800 million dollars a year on various brands in the UK alone.
In the 1970s, Unilever developed the Walls Twister, which created an ice cream using rope-making technology. In the 1980s, it patented a technology that allowed it put thin layers of wavy chocolate in ice cream at high speed. The result was Viennetta. It worked out how to freeze chocolate on the outside of a Magnum and how to freeze a ball of bubblegum at the bottom of a cone for the Screwball. The company has also been using smarter marketing techniques to push its delicious ice-cream brands.
Ice cream has a universal appeal that spans all ages. It is about fun and pleasure.