A shortage of three types of Good Humor ice cream bars prompted a Nassau County lawmaker to start a petition in hopes Long Island ice cream trucks would be spared from heading down a rocky road.
Nassau County Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) called a news conference Wednesday, the sweltering first day of summer, to express his outrage at the shortage of Toasted Almond, Candy Center Crunch and Chocolate Eclairs.
“The biggest thing on their mind is ice-cream,” Denenberg said of the 10,000 children and families he estimates are suffering from the ice cream injustice. “It is not the Nassau fiscal crisis.”
He brushed off questions about how the issue trumped the county’s languishing multi-million-dollar budget crisis, which has resulted in mass layoffs and service cuts with more expected on the horizon.
Good Humor parent company Unilever PLC said a sales spike during the unusually warm spring and challenges linked to next month’s closing of its Hagerstown manufacturing plant have limited its ability to supply ice cream trucks with the popular ice cream bars.
The British-Dutch conglomerate said the Toasted Almond shortage should ease by the end of July. “We are confident that all issues will be resolved by mid-summer,” Unilever spokesman Jeff Graubard said in an email.
He said it’s been difficult shifting production from Hagerstown to Unilever plants in Covington, Tenn. and Sikeston, Mo., while maintaining product quality. The Hagerstown plant is closing permanently as part of a consolidation of the company’s U.S. ice cream operations.
“We will tirelessly work on resolving the distribution problems at hand, stocking as much inventory as possible to provide as wide an assortment of flavors as we can this summer,” Plainview-based Carnival Ice Cream, which has an army of Good Humor ice cream trucks, said in a statement.
Children who attended the news conference at Wantagh Park said they were upset at the news. But 7-year-old snow-cone lover Francesca Capuano said she will find another flavor.
“I will still go to the ice-cream truck,” she said.
-With Associated Press.