Ice cream sales bucks recession

Ice cream sales soar.
Ice cream sales soar. Bob Fila/Chicago Tribune/MCT

You've had a rough year, America. Better have some ice cream.

Despite the recession, more people are indulging in the sweet treat than ever before. Experts say that's because it's a comfort food -- and boy, do we need comfort food.

Sales of ice cream and other frozen desserts went against the grain last year, rising 1.5% nationally to $25 billion, according to a report issued this month by New York-based market research firm Packaged Facts.

The report calls ice cream "recession-proof," because it's an "inexpensive indulgence." Sales have stayed steady through this recession and past downturns.

Hanford-based Superior Dairy says 2009 was one of its best years ever.

"There's been research done about how when times are bad, people start drinking more or smoking. [But] more than anything else, they want ice cream," said co-owner Susan Wing, whose grandfather started the business in 1929.

In fact, a national study last summer suggested a link between economic stress and eating habits.

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