Future of the Company

In 2019, Dippin’ Dots had yet another flavor addition to its roster—Cool Mint Crunch. Dippin’ Dots has produced and distributed its tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet, and flavored-ice products since microbiologist Curt Jones invented the cryogenic ice cream process in 1988. Available in many tastes and types—Original Dots, Dots ‘n Cream, Coffee, and Dot Treats—Dippin’ Dots’ ­innovative take on frozen food has changed some portion of the public’s way of looking at ice cream. Made at the company’s production facility in Paducah, Kentucky, ­Dippin’ Dots’ unique frozen products are distributed in all 50 states and 10 countries.

Whether consumers had tasted it in an amusement park, local mall, or a Chuck E Cheese, Dippin’ Dots had pursued a multi-prolonged distribution strategy—since being acquired by Fischer Enterprises in 2012—of establishing partnerships with renowned amusement destinations. In 2019, Dippin’ Dots planned to expand through China, ­including presence in several internationally branded amusement parks in China. The distribution strategy also included a partnership with Doc Popcorn, which increased the product presence in nearly 7,000 convenience stores around the United States. Many challenges remained, however, for the company to expand internationally and achieve organic growth instead of structuring partnership and co-branding contracts. But Dippin’ Dots maintained a high profile, receiving the 2018 Martha Layne Collins Award given by World Trade Center Kentucky that recognizes companies that have shown exceptional progress and success internationally.

After being bailed out of bankruptcy in 2012, there seemed to be a lot of potential to grow Dippin’ Dots at that time. The vision and creativity of the company founder and CEO, Curt Jones, appeared to perfectly align with the business acumen and experience of its president, Scott Fischer.1 Since then, Fischer has guided the brand to a 2017 gross annual revenue of $120 million, with key acquisitions including Doc Popcorn, the largest franchised ­retailer of popcorn in the world, helping to fuel the turnaround. In 2018, Dippin’ Dots celebrated its 30th anniversary, and summer sales were up 10 percent over the previous year.2

The company promoted the low cost of entry and flexibility of its franchising options. In an interview with CNN Money, Steve Rothenstein, Dippin’ Dots director of franchising, said the company had a lot of opportunities to suit a variety of business models. With a franchise start-up fee of only $15,000, the company offered an economic option for budding entrepreneurs.

In 2018, the Food and Drug administration (FDA) ­issued a warning on consuming food processed with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale (where customers purchase and consume products). This provided a slight backlash for companies like Dippin’ Dots, but the company assured their customers that Dippin’ Dots are frozen using liquid nitrogen while they are made at the factory, and the liquid nitrogen would have completed dissipated by the time it reaches the customer.

Dippin’ Dots was flexible with alternative delivery models in addition to its more traditional brick-and-mortar locations. These included kiosks at malls and carts at community events (e.g., fairs and festivals).

What remained to be seen was whether all these innovations and fixes would have a lasting impact on reversing the softness in company revenues and give the financials a much needed boost. Were these enhancements to the product portfolio, promotions, and business expansion efforts clever ways of growing the business, or just a last-ditch ­effort before the end? Despite the introduction of innovative new products, record-setting promotional events, and enticing franchise expansion opportunities, the future of the company remained uncertain.

Company Overview

In May 2012, Dippin’ Dots LLC, a newly formed company based in Oklahoma and funded by private capital, acquired the Paducah, Kentucky-based Dippin’ Dots Inc. A motion to approve the proposed sale was filed in April 2012 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Louisville, Kentucky. In November 2011, Dippin’ Dots Inc. had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Kentucky for a combination of reasons, including owing millions to lenders from costly patent litigation, as well as having increased operating costs and plummeting sales. Despite its unique twist on the classic frozen novelty, prior to the acquisition Dippin’ Dots had been encountering abysmal revenues and having trouble maintaining attention in the market. Feeling the pressure, the company had looked to innovative new products, promotions, and business-expansion efforts as the hope for a turnaround. In the bankruptcy filing, the company listed about $20.2 million in assets and more than $12 million in liabilities.3 The acquisition was approved shortly after.

Dippin’ Dots employed approximately Page C105310 workers at its facility in Paducah, Kentucky, and Scott Fischer, president of Dippin’ Dots LLC, had no particular plan to move the facility or let go any existing employees. Dippin’ Dots LLC was unaffiliated with the existing Dippin’ Dots Inc. entity. Fischer said:

We are committed to ensuring that Dippin’ Dots reclaims its status, not as a novelty of the past, but as the ice cream of the future.4

Fischer said they had taken the opportunity to acquire Dippin’ Dots Inc. in a smooth and equitable transaction in order to rescue the frozen novelty and keep it afloat. ­Fischer added:

We are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and personally meeting with all of the employees, franchisees, and business associates of the company.5

In January 2013, showing their enthusiasm for growth, Fischer and the new executive team decided to invest over $3.1 million in the company’s home facility in Kentucky, expanding operations and creating 30 new full-time jobs. Prior to the expansion, 60 of Dippin’ Dots 170 workers lived in the Paducah area. Fischer stated, “This investment underscores our long-term commitment to market the wonderful Dippin’ Dots brand, introduce new products to complement existing ones, and maintain the historic ties to Kentucky.”6 Other improvements were to include purchasing energy-efficient equipment, upgrading processes, and renovating the facility.

Earlier, Dippin’ Dots had expanded its product line from ice creams to uniquely brewed coffees. Founder Curt Jones took a colder-than-cold instant-freezing process, similar to the one that made Dippin’ Dots ice creams so delectable, and redirected that technology to fresh-brewed coffee. Just as he had dubbed Dippin’ Dots the Ice Cream of the Future two decades earlier, he said the new “coffee dots” would adopt the slogan “Coffee of the Future.” Real espresso was made from fresh, high-quality Arabica beans and then flash-frozen into dots immediately, capturing the flavor and aroma. Named “Forty Below Joe edible coffee,” the coffee dots could be eaten with a spoon, heated with water and milk to make a hot “fresh-brewed” coffee without brewing, or blended with Frappe beads to make a Dippin’ Dots Frappe. Jones’ once kid-targeted dots now had a very adult twist.

For years Jones had been thinking of coming out with more kid-friendly treats—low-calorie, low-fat Dippin’ Dots that could meet the nutrition requirements and regulations set by public schools and thus be sold at the schools. The result was “Chillz,” a lower-calorie alternative to ice cream. Dippin’ Dots Chillz was a low-fat frozen-beaded dessert made with Truvia, an all-natural sweetener. This healthier alternative to ice cream was also an excellent source of vitamin C. It was available in three flavors: Sour Blue Razz, Wango Rainbo, and Chocolate.7 In the words of Dippin’ Dots vice president of sales, Michael Barrette:

We’re starting to distribute Chillz through the vending channel. We already have two contracts underway and expect to get more. Vending companies know and love the Dippin’ Dots brand. With Chillz and other products, it’s a great opportunity for them. Schools need that revenue. They have thrown out a lot of products in recent times that have no nutritional value. So we feel bullish about Chillz.8

An Innovative Product

The company’s chief operation was the sale of BB-sized pellets of flash-frozen ice cream in some two-dozen flavors to franchisees and national accounts throughout the world. As a Six Flags customer commented, “I gotta say, man, they’re pretty darn good . . . starts off like a rock candy but ends up like ice cream.”9

Dippin’ Dots was the product of a marriage between old-fashioned handmade ice cream and space-age technology. Dippin’ Dots were tiny round beads of ice cream made at ­super-cold temperatures, served at subzero temperatures in a soufflé cup, and eaten with a spoon. The super-cold freezing of Dippin’ Dots ice cream by liquid nitrogen cryogenically locked in both flavor and freshness in a way that no other manufactured ice cream could offer. The process virtually eliminated the presence of trapped ice and air, giving the ice cream a fresh flavor and a hard texture. Not only had Jones discovered a new way of making ice cream, but many felt his product was more flavorful and richer than regular ice cream. According to Jones, “I created a way. . . [to] get a quicker freeze so the ice cream wouldn’t get large ice crystals. . . . About six months later, I decided to quit my job and go into business.”

Jones was a microbiologist by trade, with an area of expertise in cryogenics. His first job was researching and engineering as a microbiologist for ALLtech Inc., a bioengineering company based in Lexington, Kentucky. During his days at ALLtech, Jones worked with different types of bacteria to find new ways of preserving them so that they could be transported throughout the world. He applied a method of freezing using super-cold temperatures with substances such as liquid CO2 and liquid nitrogen—the same method he later used to create Dippin’ Dots.

One process Jones developed was “microencapsulating” the bacteria by freezing their medium with liquid nitrogen. Other scientists thought he was crazy, because nothing like that had ever been done before. Jones, however, was convinced his idea would work. He spent months trying to perfect the process and continued to make progress. While Jones was working over 80 hours a week in ALLtech’s labs to perfect the microencapsulating process, he made the most influential decision of his life. He took a weekend off and attended a family barbeque at his parents’ house. It just so happened that his mother was making ice cream the day of the barbeque. Jones began to Page C106reminisce about homemade ice cream prepared the slow, old-fashioned way. Then Jones wondered if it was possible to flash-freeze ice cream. Instead of using a bacteria medium, was it possible to microencapsulate ice cream?

The answer was yes. After virtually reinventing a frozen dessert that had been around since the second century BC,10 Jones patented his idea to flash-freeze liquid cream, and he opened the first Dippin’ Dots store.11 Once franchising was offered in 2000, the “Ice Cream of the Future” could be found at thousands of shopping malls, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, and festivals worldwide. Dippin’ Dots ice cream was transported coast to coast and around the world by truck, train, plane, and ship. In addition to being transported in specially designed cryogenic transport containers, the product was transported in refrigerated boxes known as pallet reefers. Both types of containers ensured fast and efficient delivery to franchisees around the world. The product was served in 4-, 5-, and 8-ounce cups and in 5-ounce vending prepacks.

Product Specifics

Dippin’ Dots flash-frozen beads of ice cream typically are served in a cup or vending package. The ice cream averages 90 calories per serving, depending on the flavor, and has 9 grams of fat. The ice cream is produced by a patented process that introduces flavored liquid cream into a vat of negative 320-degree liquid nitrogen, where it is flash-frozen to produce the bead or dot shape. Once frozen, the dots are collected and either mixed with other flavors or packaged separately for delivery to retail locations. The product has to be stored at subzero temperatures to maintain the consistency of the dots. Subzero storage temperatures are achieved by utilizing special equipment and freezers supplemented with dry ice. Although storage is a challenge for ­international shipping, the beads can maintain their shape for up to 15 days in their special containers. To maintain product integrity and consistency, the ice cream has to be served at 10 to 20 degrees below zero. A retail location has to have special storage and serving freezers. Because the product has to be stored and served at such low temperatures, it is unavailable in regular frozen-food cases and cannot be stored in a typical household freezer. Therefore, it can be consumed only at or near a retail location, unless stored with dry ice to maintain the necessary storage temperature.

Industry Overview

The frozen dairy industry has traditionally been occupied by family-owned businesses such as Dippin’ Dots, full-line dairies, and a couple of large international companies that focus on only a single sales region. The year 2018 was a relatively good year for Dippin’ Dots. From bankruptcy in 2012 to annual sales of $300 million in 2017, the company had come a long way. CEO Scott Fischer said that the two ­important pieces of the puzzle were having a strong senior management team and knowing when to pivot out of the box. Fischer said:

For a company like Dippin’ Dots that has its core product which was selling bulk Dippin’ Dots in national theme parks such as Universal Studios and Six Flags, which is good and that’s one of the main veins of our revenue. But by pivoting outside of the box, we’re able to go towards the impulse market with pre-packaged packages of Dippin’ Dots. And that impulse market would be the consumers at the grocery store or a convenience store or any locations who see Dippin’ Dots at the checkout lane, and they buy off of impulse. And that was one of our main segments of business that grew the fastest.

The ice cream segment in the United States is a battleground for two huge international consumer-product companies seeking to corner the ice cream market. Those two industry giants are Nestlé of Switzerland, the world’s largest food company, with more than $90 billion in annual sales, and Unilever PLC of London and Rotterdam, with over $57 billion in annual revenues.12 Both have been buying into U.S. firms for quite a while, but Nestlé, which already owned the Haagen-Dazs product line, upped the ante with its June 2003 merger with Dreyer’s Grand/Edy’s Ice Cream Inc. of Oakland, California. But even as the two giants dominate the U.S. ice cream industry, about 500 small businesses continue to produce and distribute frozen treats. As one commentator said, “Like microbrewers and small-scale chocolate makers, entrepreneurs are drawn to ice cream as a labor of love.”13 Some of the better-known brands are regional ones, such as Blue Bell, based in Brenham, Texas (see Exhibit 1).

A novelty product delivery system in the independent scoop shop is the “slab” concept. Employees at franchises such as Marble Slab Creamery and Cold Stone Creamery work ingredients on a cold granite or marble slab to blend premium ice cream with the customer’s choice of tasty additives, such as crumbled cookies, fruits, and nuts, before serving it in a cup or cone. The novelty is the entertainment of watching the preparation. Both chains rank in Entrepreneur’s list of the top 500 franchise opportunities, but commentators are skeptical of their sustainability once the novelty wears off, especially since the average price is $5 for a medium serving.14

Kona Ice, shaved ice with a wide range of flavors, was among the popular ice cream brands of 2019. The company’s primary selling points are 814 decorated shaved ice cream trucks that entertain customers with colorful characters and tropical music while serving ice cream. Kona Ice franchisees own trucks that they bring to social events, schools, sports events, and other community groups. Interestingly, Kona Ice experienced steady growth from the start of the company in 2008 and ranked 67th on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list of 2019.15

Another prominent participant in the ice cream industry is Häagen-Dazs. Started in 1961, the New York-based company started with only three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. As of 2019, the company has over 50 flavors which range from classic flavors, limited edition flavors, gelato flavors, sorbet flavors, frozen yogurt flavors, cup flavors, and Häagen-Dazs bars flavors. Häagen-Dazs has been ­growing at a significant rate by expanding the number of franchises with over 900 shops in 54 countries worldwide. In 2001, Nestle SA agreed to pay $641 million to acquire General Mills Inc.’s 50 percent ownership stake in Ice Cream Partners USA, a U.S. premium ice-cream venture that includes the Haagen-Dazs Page C107brand.16

EXHIBIT 1 Top 10 Ice Cream Brands, 2018

Source: Statista, 2019.

Industry Segmentation

Frozen desserts come in many forms. Each of the following foods has its own definition, and many are standardized by federal regulations.

•Ice cream consists of a mixture of dairy ingredients such as cream, milk, and nonfat milk, and ingredients for sweetening and flavoring such as fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips. Functional ingredients, such as stabilizers and emulsifiers, are often included in the product to promote proper texture and enhance the eating experience. By federal law, ice cream must contain at least 10 percent butterfat before the addition of bulky ingredients, and it must weigh a minimum of 4.5 pounds to the gallon.

•Novelties are separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches, fudge sticks, and juice bars, which may or may not contain dairy ingredients.

•Frozen custard or French ice cream must also contain a minimum of 10 percent butterfat as well as at least 1.4 percent egg yolk solids.

•Sherbets have a butterfat content of between 1 and 2 percent and have a slightly higher sweetener content than ice cream. Sherbet weighs a minimum of 6 pounds to the gallon and is flavored with either fruit or other characterizing ingredients.

•Gelato is characterized by an intense flavor and is served in a semifrozen state. Gelato contains sweeteners, milk, cream, egg yolks, and flavoring.

•Sorbet and water ices are similar to sherbets, but they contain no dairy ingredients.

•A quiescently frozen confection is a frozen novelty such as a water-ice novelty on a stick.

•Frozen yogurt consists of a mixture of dairy ingredients, such as milk and nonfat milk, that have been ­cultured, as well as ingredients for sweetening and ­flavoring.17

Dippin’ Dots’ Growth from Its Origins18

The growth of Dippin’ Dots Inc. has been recognized in the Page C108United States and the world by industry watchdogs such as Inc. magazine, which ranked Dippin’ Dots as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies two years in a row, in 1996 and 1997. Dippin’ Dots Franchising Inc. ranked number 4 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2004 list of the top 50 new franchise companies, and it achieved the 101st spot on ­Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 for 2004. In 2005, Dippin’ Dots ranked number 2 as a top new franchise opportunity and climbed to number 93 on the Franchise 500 list. By the end of 2009, Dippin’ Dots had slid to the 175th position on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list.19 By 2019, Dippin’ Dots had fallen to the 334th position.20 Exhibit 2 shows the growth of franchises for Dippin’ Dots. Exhibit 3 shows the growth trajectory of revenue and productivity; and Exhibit 4 lists key corporate milestones.

Despite the company’s initial success, the achievements of Curt Jones and Dippin’ Dots did not come without ­obstacles. Once Jones had perfected his idea, needing to start a company for the new process of flash-freezing ice cream, like many new entrepreneurs he enlisted the help of his family to support his endeavor. It was essential to start selling his product, and he had no protection for his idea from competitors.

The first obstacle confronting Jones was the need to ­locate funding to accomplish his goals. He needed money for the patent to protect his intellectual property, and he needed seed money to start manufacturing the ice cream once the patent was granted. At the same time that Jones was perfecting the flash-freezing process for his ice cream, he was also working on a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to convert the family farm into one that would manufacture ethanol. However, instead of using the farm to produce the alternative fuel, Jones’ parents took out a first and then a second mortgage to help fund Jones’s endeavor. Thus, Jones initiated the entire venture by self-funding his company with personal and family assets.

Unfortunately, the money from Jones’s parents was enough to pay for only the patent and some crude manufacturing facilities (a liquid nitrogen tank in his parents’ ­garage). He next had to open a store, and doing so required even more money that Jones and his family did not have. They were unable to get the SBA loan because, while the product was novel and looked promising, there was no proof that it would sell. So Jones and his newly appointed CFO (his sister) went to an alternative lender who lent them cash at an exorbitant interest rate that was tacked onto the principal weekly if unpaid.

Now in possession of the seed money they needed, Jones and his family opened their first store. Its summertime opening created a buzz in the community. The store was mobbed every night, and Dippin’ Dots was legitimized by public demand. With the influx of cash, Jones was able to move his manufacturing operation from his family’s garage into a vacant warehouse. There he set up shop and personally made flash-frozen ice cream for 12 hours every day to supply the store.

EXHIBIT 2 Dippin’ Dots Franchise Growth

Source: Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

EXHIBIT 3 Dippin’ Dots Revenue

EXHIBIT 4 Page C109Dippin’ Dots Milestones

Dippin’ Dots, Inc.

After the store had been operating Page C110for a few months, the Joneses were able to secure small business loans from local banks to cover the expenses of a modest manufacturing plant and office. At the same time, Jones’s sister made calls to fairs and other events to learn whether Dippin’ Dots products could be sold at them. Luckily for the Joneses, the amusement park at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, was willing to have Dippin’ Dots as a vendor. Unfortunately, the first Dippin’ Dots stand was placed in front of a roller coaster, and people generally did not want ice cream before they went on a ride. After a few unsuccessful weeks, Jones moved the stand and business picked up considerably. Eventually, the Joneses were able to move to an inline location, which was similar to a store, where Dippin’ Dots had its own personnel and sitting area to serve customers.

Through word of mouth, interest in Curt Jones and Dippin’ Dots spread. Soon other entrepreneurs contacted Jones about opening up stores to sell Dippin’ Dots. A dealership network was developed to sell ice cream to authorized vendors and provide support with equipment and marketing. During that time, Jones employed friends in corporate jobs. Dippin’ Dots grew into a multimillion-dollar company with authorized dealers operating in all 50 states and internationally.

The result was a cash inflow for Dippin’ Dots franchising. A franchise location was any mall, fair, national ­account, or large family entertainment center. According to the franchising information in 2016, the initial franchise fee was $15,000, with an estimated initial investment ranging from $112,204 to $376,950. In addition, franchisees are ­required to pay a variable royalty fee.

The Ice Cream of the Future

Dippin’ Dots is counting on youthful exuberance to expand growth. “Our core demographic was pretty much 8- to 18-year-olds,” said Terry Reeves, former corporate communications director. “On top of that, we’re starting to see a generation of parents who grew up on Dippin’ Dots and are starting to introduce the products to their kids.” Although Dippin’ Dots seems to appeal more to youngsters, the product still has to have stayed power as customers grow older. As one individual commented, “How can this stuff keep continuing to call itself the ‘ice cream of the future’? Well, the future is now, folks, and they have been pushing this sorry excuse off on me at amusement parks and zoos since I was a little kid.”21

In 2002, McDonald’s reportedly spent $1.2 million on advertising to roll out Dippin’ Dots in about 250 restaurants in the San Francisco area. Jones called the deal “open-ended” if it worked favorably for both firms. However, by 2007 Dippin’ Dots was available only at a few ­McDonald’s franchises in southern California. Storage and transportation issues were problematic, and the price of the product—5 ounces for $5—was too steep for all but the ­die-hard Dippin’ Dots fans.

In other marketing efforts, Dippin’ Dots ads were running in issues of Seventeen and Nickelodeon magazines. Additionally, Dippin’ Dots hired a Hollywood firm to place its ice cream in the background of television and movie scenes, including the 2003 Cheaper by the Dozen. In 2002, the Food Network’s Summer Foods: Unwrapped showcased Dippin’ Dots as one of the most unique and coolest ice cream treats. ‘NSync member Joey Fatone ordered a Dippin’ Dots freezer for his home after seeing a Dots vending machine at a theater the band rented in Orlando. Caterers also sought Dippin’ Dots for their star clients. A birthday party at the home of NBA star Shaquille O’Neal featured Dippin’ Dots ice cream. Dippin’ Dots continues to pursue the celebrity word-of-mouth route by serving its products at events such as the MTV awards and celebrity charity functions.

Dippin’ Dots sales come from approximately 220 franchisees, 90 percent of which have multiple locations.22 Dippin’ Dots has met with increased competition in the out-of-home ice cream market. The major threats to Dippin’ Dots are other franchise operations, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs, Baskin-Robbins, Carvel, Dairy Queen, and newcomers such as Cold Stone Creamery and Marble Slab Creamery (see Exhibit 5).

EXHIBIT 5 Page C111Ice Cream Franchises, 2018

Source: Entrepreneur Media, Inc.


Dippin’ Dots has been around Page C112for 30 years, during which it has expanded internationally, filed for bankruptcy, sold to a new owner, and even found itself criticized by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Twitter.23

By 2019, Dippin’ Dots had billed itself as the “Ice Cream of the Future” for over 30 years. However, Dippin’ Dots was close to a meltdown. Founder Curt Jones said that Dippin’ Dots “just got hit by a perfect storm” of soaring operating costs and plummeting sales. Jones resumed daily control over the troubled Dippin’ Dots after a three-year break from operations. He let go President Tom Leonard, who had run Samsonite before joining Dippin’ Dots, and Operations Vice President Dominic Fontana, who had earlier spent about 17 years with Haagen-Dazs. Jones described the separations as amicable and regrettable.

In spite of these challenges, Jones, always the inventor, invested in research and development to create a conventional ice cream product that has super-frozen dots embedded in it and withstands conventional freezers while preserving the super-frozen dots in the ice cream. Called Dots ‘n Cream and available in berry crème, caramel cappuccino, mint chocolate, orange crème de la crème, vanilla bean, vanilla over the rainbow, wild about chocolate, and banana split, this product was introduced for market testing in Kroger stores in the Midwest in the early 2010s. Thus, Dippin’ Dots was finally on the verge of having a take-home ice cream option. As of 2018, the Dots ‘n Cream product was no longer available. The company has come a long way to market to its online audience. In August 2018, Dippin’ Dots introduced Google Pay and Apple Pay as a payment method for online purchase and its kiosks.24

Along with the FDA issued warning on consuming food processed with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, Dippin’ Dots had another hurdle. In 2018, it issued a statement ­following the death of one of its employee’s mother in ­Tacoma, Washington, due to dry ice. The company managed to escape the heat by issuing a statement saying, “Dry ice forms carbon dioxide gas, which displaces oxygen. This is particularly dangerous when dry ice is placed in an enclosed space, with lack of airflow. We take dry ice handling precautions and safety procedures very seriously, and this incident is a painful reminder for all of us who handle dry ice of the inherent dangers of working with the product.”25

Despite the recent backlash of using liquid nitrogen and the incident with dry ice, the company has still managed to maintain an audience who are loyal to Dippin’ Dots. ­Co-branding with its sister company Doc Popcorn, Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn expect to double year-over-year growth for each of the next five years in international ­markets.26

“We are proud that Dippin’ Dots is an American brand that is shipped and sold across the world,” said Dippin’ Dots CEO Scott Fischer. “Our international growth has contributed significantly to our manufacturing facility ­production during our slower winter season.” Fischer ­commented that this meant they could maintain more steadier opportunities year-round. Fischer said Dippin’ Dots was expanding its production facility to be prepared for an uptick in business this season.27

Although optimistic about its future, with high competition, expenses and risks in the frozen novelty industry, will the once known “ice cream of the future” come to be the “ice cream of the past?”

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