The Czech Republic produced over 44 million litres of ice cream last year, which is the highest figure since 2004. Czechs have surpassed other EU countries, such as Greece or Croatia, Czech Radio reported on Wednesday, citing data released by the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat. Europe’s biggest producer of ice-cream is Germany, followed by Italy and France.
According to Czech Health Ministry data, there are currently around 7,400 sellers of ice-cream in the country. Over the past six years, the number of places selling ice-cream has increased by nearly a thousand. Export of ice-cream is also on the rise:
“Exports of ice-cream have been increasing. While in 2012, ice cream exports amounted to 283 million crowns, last year’s figure was four times higher, that is, more than one billion crowns. At the same time, there is still more ice-cream imported to the country than exported abroad,” spokesman of the Czech Statistics Office Tomáš Chrámecký told Czech Radio.
Nevertheless, the gap between ice cream imports and exports is getting smaller. Sales of ice cream are also fuelled by the thriving economy:
“Consumers can buy food that they couldn’t afford when finances were tighter. That applies to all confections, including ice cream, which in turns lead to its higher production,” Lukáš Kovanda, chief economist at Cyrrus, told Czech Radio.
The continuing heatwave has increased sales of ice cream around the country. Ovocný Světozor, the largest Czech chain of ice-cream parlours, sells over a tonne of ice cream a week.
“During these hot weeks, we sell around five to six times more ice cream. The most popular flavour is vanilla, followed by strawberry and banana,” the company’s operational manager Kateřina Trávníčková told Czech Radio.
According to the European Association of Ice Cream Producers, the average European consumes around seven litres of ice cream a year. Czechs are still way below the average, with a consumption of four litres a year.