What?  an ice ball in Bremen will soon be more expensive than a liter of petrol?

What? an ice ball in Bremen will soon be more expensive than a liter of petrol?


The high cost of ingredients such as sugar or milk is also reflected in the high price of ice cream in Bremen.

Photo: DPA | Jens Kalaene

Corona, war and energy transition also make ice cream more expensive. Here we reveal how the operator of the Bremen ice cream parlor has to calculate with sugar, cream and co.

Sentences like “Miss, can I have some ice cream?” it is difficult to answer “no”. But as soon as the people of Bremen open their wallets to pay for vanilla, chocolate and strawberries, many people should look twice. Because the cost per scoop may exceed that of a liter of gasoline in some ice cream shops in Bremen this summer.

“We had to raise the price this year from 1.40 to 1.80 euros,” says Marco Ferrari, whose family has owned an ice cream shop in Bremen since 1948. Some customers were upset by this, he says. “But most understand.” Recently, a lady with two grandchildren was there who was surprised at how cheap the ice cream was. “It must have come from Munich,” Ferrari says with a laugh.

Munich is the most expensive, Bremen is the same as Hamburg

In fact, according to a recent national comparison of ice cream scoops and holiday giants, scoops in Munich are the most expensive. In 2021 they cost an average of 2.10 euros. Two years ago, in Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden, a good 1.80 euros per ball was given. At that time, Bremen was slightly below the national average of 1.46 euros. As in Hamburg, a ball here cost an average of 1.43 euros.

But the pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine have also sent the cost of ice cream parlors skyrocketing. The price of sugar varies greatly, says Ferrari, who regularly buys 25kg bags and uses them to make his own ice cream. At the end of the summer of 2022, the bags still cost around 20 euros. “At the beginning of this year we had 42.95 euros,” says the entrepreneur, pointing to one of the statements printed on the table in front of him. At the same time, the price has dropped again by around ten euros. “But I’m not a gas station and I can’t set new prices for ice cream scoops every day.”

The cost of ice cream parlors compared to the previous year

The development of the price of ice cream

Sugar + 67.5% cream +34.6% Quark +43.3% milk +37.2% Wheat +1.6% minimum wage +14.8% Electricity +29.5% Source: Federal Statistics Office, own calculationsStatus: January 2023

In addition, the cost increase will not only apply to sugar. “We paid 55 cents per liter for milk in 2015,” says Ferrari. Since then, costs have roughly doubled. The price of egg yolks rose from EUR 3.98 to EUR 10.93 per kg during the period.

Waffles, paper cups, straws, wooden spoons – almost everything has become more expensive.

Marco Ferrari, owner of an ice cream parlor in Bremen

The minimum wage also has an impact in Bremen’s ice cream parlors. It was introduced in 2015, initially it was 8.50 per hour. In the ice cream season of 2022, it was already 10.45 euros. In October 2022 it finally increased to 12 euros. “We see that especially now because I ran the store alone with my wife during Corona,” says Ferrari. But now he needs extra staff again. These are often students who want to earn extra money or save their driver’s license. “Twelve euros is a lot of money for someone who doesn’t know how to make a cappuccino properly,” Ferrari says with a laugh.

He himself started at five marks an hour, says the 52-year-old. However, those were different times. Statistically, the price of ice cream in Bremen has increased roughly tenfold since the early 1980s – from around 30 pfennigs (15 cents) back. Balls were also very small back then. Good news: This trend is also continuing. “I made the balls a little bigger again this year,” Ferrari says.

This topic in the program:
Bremen Zwei, Afternoon, April 17, 2023, 2:50 pm