Author: christiane

Catering with Gelato

As we move toward the height of summer, now’s the time to consider showcasing your gelato and brand at local festivals and events. Catering with gelato is a great way to expand your business and customer reach, that’s why we’re revisiting this P Magazine article by Christiane Carter, marketing support, PreGel America, to inspire your professional growth.

Social Event planners are no longer satisfied with ending their exciting events with the traditional pastry or cake offerings. Now event professionals are venturing out into the frozen dessert industry to explore alternative solutions for their dessert conundrum in order to please the increasingly complex tastes of their clients. Some of America’s most popular gelato brands have capitalized on this opportunity and have hit a gold mine: gelato catering.

If you already own a gelato shop, complete with a batch freezer and blast freezer, growing your company in this direction doesn’t require a large investment; but the size of your investment will depend on the kind of experience you want to provide the guests at each event.

Before digging into the details of unique flavor options, the first thing to consider is the structure in which you will want to hold your gelato and sorbetto to ensure its optimal presentation and quality.

$ Cooler/ Ice Box: This popular and inexpensive option is also the easiest to coordinate on the day of the event because it requires no electrical hookups or heavy equipment to install. The downside is that the gelato won’t stay at its optimal temperature for longer than three hours on average, so ensure your event is short, and communicate this important restriction to your client.

$$ Gelato Carts: This option really adds a festive presence to any social event and is the most popular option among gelato shops because of its mobility. Like with any gelato cabinet, it can be pricey to purchase and maintain, but because of its traditional Italian design, you should verify that the model you desire is supported by a manufacturer that provides excellent service.

$$$ Gelato Truck: This option opens the door for your business to take off, not just in the private social events realm, but also for public events such as food festivals or farmers markets. That means this option has more potential to have a higher ROI.

When it comes to impact, gelato shops that cater at special events aren’t just scooping gelato, they’re offering unique experiences that enhance the event. Two popular options for adding that special touch are listed below:

  1. Coordinated Toppings Bar: Any kind of activity that allows a guest to customize their experience will always be top-rated. Catering companies are setting up large buffet tables with countless sweet and interesting toppings that coordinate with the theme of the event, whether it’s by color or by flavor.
  2. Hot Waffle Action Stations: If you have an amazing waffle cone recipe, consider taking that on the road with your gelato as well. Eventgoers taking pictures of your staff making fresh waffle cones for their gelato not only creates a memorable moment for the guests, but adds branded marketing opportunities when the picture is posted online by an excited customer.

Keep these aspects in mind to make the prospect of expanding your gelato business into the social events industry a feasible probability.

Benefits of the Gelato Business

Note: As the gelato industry continues to grow within the United States, we wanted to revisit an article published in our semi-annual publication, P Magazine, Issue #30. Here, we revisit why the gelato industry is a worthy investment for entrepreneurs looking to make a significant space in the foodservice industry. Guest blogger, Christiane Carter, marketing support, PreGel America, detailed why building or transitioning into the business of gelato artisanship is a wise decision. 

Sweet Statistics Prove This Industry is Smart Business

Well known social media platforms uphold frozen desserts like ice cream, frozen yogurt, and gelato as some of the dominant food items that are most likely to be photographed, posted, and shared across all platforms. Twitter reported that #icecream was in the top 10 most trendy hashtags for the year of 2016, and 2017 is looking to conclude much the same. Given its popularity, frozen desserts are a treat that consumers are willing to spend premium dollars on. With this fact alone, it’s easy to assume that Frozen Desserts is a sector in the food and beverage industry worthy of investment … right?

Well you know what they say about assumptions … without evidence and statistics gathered and studied by unbiased sources, it would be really difficult to differentiate a trend with an expiration date from a long term money-maker that has proven itself to produce solid returns.

So, allow me to give you the facts.


IBISWorld recently did a study in the U.S. market that took hard data in the food and beverage industry based on the past 5 years, analyzed it from all angles and used it to project a forecast on the Frozen Desserts sector, then narrowed it down to the gelato niche specifically.

They’ve found that over the past five years, consumers have driven up the demand for premium low-fat products from the entire industry because of a rise in health consciousness. Since traditional gelato generally has 65% less fat than ice cream, is predominantly made from milk, not cream, and requires more natural and healthier ingredients than other types of frozen dessert, these statistics are especially good news for artisan-owned gelaterias.

With increased disposable income, consumers are more likely to frequent premium gelaterias to satisfy their cravings without the guilt.

With increased discretionary spending in the average American household, this means that they have the kind of money to spend on premium products that meet these types of requirements. Now, according to IBISWorld, disposable income per household is expected to rise at the annual rate of 1.9% until the year 2021.

But the good news doesn’t stop there. IBISWorld predicts that America’s insatiable sweet tooth will drive an increase in sugar consumption up by 1.2% annually until the year 2021. When you pair that with an anticipated increase in consumption of dairy products by 1.8% and a decrease in the cost of milk, profitability for the frozen dessert industry will rise across the board.

With these undeniably sweet numbers, IBISWorld foresees that the number of gelaterias in the U.S. will rise from 9044 to 13,402 locations across the nation over the next 5 years.

This information can be encouraging for those who are already practicing the art of the gelato business, possibly looking to expand, and those who are considering entering the field as a dessertpreneur. Either way, gelato has already proven to be a delicious (and profitable) business investment.