We already lost the Choco Taco. Are ice cream trucks next?
people wait in line at a Mister Softee ice cream truck in New York City

Despite scorching temperatures across the country, ice cream truck owners aren’t exactly swimming in the cold hard cash you might expect. 

Inflation has pushed prices up on many basics for businesses around the world and ice cream trucks are no exception. A gallon of vanilla ice cream currently costs around $13 while a 25-pound box of sprinkles comes in at a painful $60. That’s double what the cost was just a year ago.

And while fuel prices have fallen across the country, diesel — which most ice cream trucks run on — remains costly. Diesel fuel cost $3.30 per gallon last year but now costs between $5-$7 per gallon.

Other, and perhaps less temporary, causes of ice cream truck struggles are changing consumer tastes and buying habits. Food trucks have now outpaced ice cream trucks in terms of popularity in many cities. Additionally, delivery apps have made it more convenient for people to have a sweet treat delivered directly to their door instead of grabbing their wallet and chasing down a colorful jingle-playing truck. No matter how catchy.

So, enjoy your truck-bought SpongeBob popsicles before they melt away for good. We already lost the choco taco this week.

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