Summer of the 99? Not if councils have a say! Curbs on diesel vans leaving their engines running could make it harder to get the seaside favorite, experts warn
The tinkle of a Mr Whippy van has long been a staple of British summers.
But curbs on the vans, which keep their diesel engines running to keep the ice cream soft enough to serve, could make the beloved 99 harder to get to, it turns out.
Festival and fairground organizers are increasingly asking vendors to switch off engines to limit emissions and fuel waste. Municipalities are also making similar demands for lucrative parking spaces in parks and by the sea, The Sunday Times reported.
With electric ice cream vans costing up to £180,000, some traditional sellers fear they will ditch Mr Whippy and only have to stock pre-packed or softscoop ice cream.
Curbs on the vans running their diesel engines to keep the ice cream soft enough to serve could make the beloved 99 harder to get to, it turns out
Katy Alston, president of the trade organization Ice Cream Alliance, said 95 percent of sales in the sweltering heat were ’99s.
Ice cream truck sellers have also warned that rising diesel costs are pushing businesses “to breaking point”.
Ms Alston said: “The public, and promoters in particular, believe that we should be using electric ice cream vans to be more environmentally friendly.”
But she said electric vans are cripplingly expensive and not fully proven.
Mr Whippy machines can be converted to be electric – Frankie Fernando, 56, has had five of his machines converted for a total cost of £12,500.
The tinkle of a Mr Whippy van has long been a staple of British summers. But curbs on the vans, which keep their diesel engines running to keep the ice cream soft enough to serve, could make the beloved 99 harder to get to, it turns out [File photo]
He said the move meant “you don’t have noise, you don’t have engine wear and tear, you save on diesel and it’s better for the environment”.
Ice cream truck companies have also warned that rising diesel costs have taken the industry “to breaking point” – particularly with the most valuable seats costing up to £25,000 a year.
Colorful claims that soft-mix ice cream technology was developed in part by Margaret Thatcher in her food research days have been debunked as a myth.
Mr. Whippy ice cream was introduced to the UK in 1958 by businessman Dominic Facchino.
The brand was later bought by Wall’s – now owned by Unilever – although it’s now a generic brand, meaning other suppliers can use it too.