Much of the Northeastern United States is currently dealing with a heat wave that has household pets plastered to cold tile floors and local news outlets hauling tired puns out of winter storage. But the real crisis is occurring out where fleets of white trucks prowl the mean streets of suburbia in search of customers. The combination of an exceptionally warm spring and a Good Humor plant shutdown in Maryland mean that vendors are struggling to get hold of some popular Good Humor products. Who is suffering? The children.
Or maybe just the ice cream truck operators. The owner of the wonderfully named Mr. Ding-A-Ling near Albany, N.Y. notes that his total sales are down 5%, and popular Good Humor products such as toasted almond bars are only available in grocery stores, not from his wholesalers.
Unilever, parent company of Good Humor, is closing a plant in Hagerstown, Md. and moving production to other ice creameries in Missouri and Tennessee as part of an overall consolidation of operations. But the warm spring meant an early start to ice cream season, and some items are running out. Oreo bars were in short supply earlier this spring, and now east coast distributors are having a hard time getting hold of Toasted Almond, Candy Center Crunch and Chocolate Eclair bars.
“It sucks to tell someone you don’t have something,” one ice cream man near Buffalo, N.Y. told the Associated Press. “In most cases they’ll just pick something else but they’ll look a little disgusted.”
Will our suffering ever end? Yes, a Unilever representative told the A.P. Later this summer.