Did you know, according to the IDFA, that the average American will eat about 23 pounds of ice cream and other frozen treats this year? Did you also know that ice cream trucks are one of the most popular catering service options on the road? Yes, ice cream trucks are considered a “catering service” and fall under the same rules as other on-the-go food trucks. There is a lot you likely do not know about ice cream trucks beyond they serve a delicious treat to your neighborhood during the summer months.

A Brief History of The Ice Cream Truck

The earliest ice cream trucks were no trucks at all. They were hand-pushed carts that roamed the streets of the 1800s in New York City. Some savvy newcomers created a sales force of vendors that would walk around the streets of New York and sell their sugary frozen confections to those out on a stroll.

None other than the man that invented the Good Humor Bar is also credited with being the first to sell ice cream from an actual truck in the 1920s. Harry Burt (the inventor of the “clean way to eat ice cream”) is heralded as a marketing genius for figuring out a way to bring ice cream to everyone via a truck that would roam the neighborhoods.

That Jingle

In the 20th century it was not unusual on a hot summer’s day to hear the “jingle” of the ice cream man playing on a loud speaker to let you know he was on his way. You could hear the jingle a block away, so you could get your change together and wait to wave him down. Initially, in the early days, it was just a bell that the driver rang, but over time, the jingles were born. There are about twelve different tunes that are related to ice cream trucks.

Catering Service At Its Finest

Not all ice cream trucks did well. There was an experiment during the 1950s that tried to incorporate ice cream with some of the day’s favorite fare like grilled cheese and hot dogs. That little trial period lasted about two years. People wanted just ice cream from their ice cream trucks, nothing more and nothing less.

For many people, ice cream trucks are a fond part of their childhood memories and make them all nostalgic. The good news is that ice cream trucks are still alive and well, but they do business a little differently. Today you can locate your friendly neighborhood ice cream truck by using an app, and in some cities, order the truck right to your door. The delivery method may be different but the ice cream is still pretty good!