Whoever said, “Money can’t buy happiness,” has clearly never had Graeter’s ice cream.
Even if only for a moment, when you take a bite into this bit of high-end goodness, the world stops spinning, and problems disappear.
Ice cream is always worth it, but should you splurge for the expensive Graeter’s brand ice cream?
While it’s difficult to put a price on nirvana, Graeter’s set the price at $79.95 for a 6-pint cooler or $119.95 for a 12-pint cooler… for ice cream?
After you eat the ice cream, you may find yourself wondering if it was worth it.
That is until you remember you have another pint in the freezer and realize you probably would pay double.
Still, why not just opt for a cheaper brand?
What makes Graeter’s ice cream so special?
We will cover the top 10 reasons Graeter’s ice cream is so expensive.
1. Flavor Options
There was an ice cream shop in my college town of Dekalb, IL, that sold delicious ice cream, but they only sold chocolate, vanilla, and the flavor of the day.
On my first and only trip, I was disappointed to learn that the flavor of the day was banana split as I don’t like bananas.
I reluctantly got a scoop of admittedly delicious vanilla ice cream, but it still contained a hint of sorrow.
I would have paid double for more flavor options.
Graeter’s caters to ice cream aficionados like me who consider going through the different flavors part of the ice cream buying experience with 30 flavors (clearly not intimidated by the 31 flavors provided by Baskin Robbins).
- Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip (SIGNATURE FLAVOR!)
- Birthday Cake (150th-anniversary flavor)
- Cinnamon (limited edition)
- Peppermint Stick (limited edition)
- Eggnog (limited edition)
- Black Cherry Chocolate Chip
- Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan
- Buckeye Blitz® Chocolate Chip
- Butter Pecan
- Caramel Macchiato
- Chocolate Chip
- Coconut Chocolate Chip
- Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip
- Cookie & Cream
- Cotton Candy
- Dark Chocolate Brownie
- Double Chocolate Chip
- Dutch Milk Chocolate
- Lemon Sorbet
- Madagascar Vanilla Bean
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Mocha Chocolate Chip
- Oregon Strawberry
- Original Salted Caramel
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Raspberry Sorbet
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip
- Toffee Chocolate Chip
- Vienna Coffee
Everyone can find a flavor they will enjoy.
Most people will enjoy a number of the different flavors.
While the company started with ice cream, they also have a bakery that provides non-frozen sweet treats and increases the tasty possibilities.
In the bakery, you can buy donuts, cookies, cakes, and pies in numerous flavors and varieties.
If you can’t justify the expense for a personal treat, all bakery items make a great host gift for the holidays (especially if you’re not a great pastry chef yourself).
If you spend 150 years doing something, you assume that you’d get pretty good at it, right?
Graeter’s ice cream has been in business since 1870.
They started selling great ice cream and only improved their processes and flavors over time (while still maintaining tradition).
Louis Charles Graeter walked through the streets of Cincinnati selling ice cream out of two ice cream carts.
He handcrafted the ice cream himself in French Pots (more on that later), and the people could clearly taste the difference in his superior product.
Only Basset’s ice cream from Philadelphia has made ice cream in America longer.
However, they didn’t produce the same quality of ice cream as Graeter’s did (and still does).
A Woman’s Touch
As is the case with Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pierre Curie, Graeter’s wife Regina helped catapult Graeter’s to larger success by tapping into the potential in his humble business and encouraging him to think bigger and open a store in 1900.
Regina happily provided support behind the scenes until she tragically became a widow in 1922.
At that time, she took over the business until her sons were ready to take over.
Somehow, even with all that ice cream around her, Regina did all of this while also maintaining her figure (even if her taste in clothes left something to be desired).
Regina found herself the owner of an ice cream company at a soon-to-be very inopportune time.
In 1929, Americans found themselves at the start of the Great Depression.
Many people didn’t have money for shoes and dinner, let alone ice cream.
Instead of backing down, Regina used the precarious economic climate of the time to her advantage.
Many parents took joy in buying an ice cream cone for their children on special occasions.
Adults splurged for themselves sometimes, too.
People needed something small to make them feel good when the opportunity presented itself.
When the head of the family did find work and finally make a paycheck, ice cream was the perfect choice for a reasonably priced treat.
We still apply the same principles today.
After a particularly devastating breakup, women and men can often be found halfway through a pint of ice cream coated in tears.
It’s called self-care.
4. French Pot Process
Graeter began making his ice cream in a French pot, and they maintain the tradition to this day.
Ice cream makers pour the ingredients into a 2.5-gallon French pot that spins at high speeds, causing the ingredients to freeze.
The ice cream artists then scrape the results from the sides once it freezes to a blistering 13° F.
What makes this process so effective?
Well, it creates a denser product.
One bite of Graeter’s ice cream is like one-and-a-half or two bites of ice cream from the other guys.
You will even notice a difference in the size of the add-ins, such as chocolate chips or pecans.
Most other companies use larger containers that allow more air into the product.
Making ice cream in large containers means that the product gets mixed more thoroughly, breaking down the ingredients instead of keeping them whole.
5. High-Quality Ingredients And Flavor
If you’re going to ingest the calories in a large ice cream cone, you should make it worth your while by eating ice cream made from the highest quality of ingredients, such as the ice cream made by Graeter’s.
The ingredients are rather simple:
- Flavor ingredients
All ingredients used in Graeter’s products exceed the quality of the ingredients found in the typical ice cream you find at the grocery store.
Graeter’s even makes its own sweet cream that you can’t find anywhere else.
Even the raspberries found in the signature black raspberry chip flavor come from the prestigious Willamette Valley farm in Oregon.
These high-quality ingredients shine when you taste the delicious flavor of the ice cream.
Yes, the high-quality ingredients cost more, but you won’t be thinking about the cost when you are in an ice cream cloud of happiness.
You simply can’t get the same flavor from other ice cream brands.
6. Limited Amount Of Stores
If you haven’t heard of Graeter’s ice cream yet, that may be because you live in an area that doesn’t have a shop nearby.
There are only 10 Graeter’s ice cream shops across four states:
- Cincinnati, OH (flagship store)
- Columbus, OH
- Cleveland, OH
- Dayton, OH
- Northern Kentucky
- Oxford, OH
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Louisville, KY
- Lexington, KY
- Indianapolis, IN
Now that you know about Graeter’s ice cream, you may feel cheated not to live in a city with a shop.
Luckily, we can buy Graeter’s products online.
You can also find Graeter’s ice cream in 4,000 retail outlets around the country, with 50% of those retailers being Kroger stores.
Still, there’s nothing quite like walking into the ice cream shop and smelling the baked goods in the air while examining the different ice cream flavors and debating how many scoops you can get away with without looking comically gluttonous.
The limited number of shops allows Graeter’s to maintain tight control over the quality of their product and the ambiance of their shops.
Of course, the limited number of shops also means that there’s a high demand but a limited supply, increasing the value of the ice cream.
While we hope the company remains prosperous and the quality stays the same, we also hope that they expand and open more stores.
(Please open a store in Chicago!)
7. Appropriate For Various Dietary Preferences
People no longer believe milk is as healthy as we once thought during those effective “Got Milk?” campaigns featuring celebrities with milk mustaches.
We don’t need three glasses of milk a day like the brilliant marketing team on the dairy board once had us convinced.
Instead of drinking more milk, many people are trying to drink less milk.
Other people can’t digest milk well at all thanks to lactose intolerance.
To accommodate this audience that prefers not to drink animal milk, Graeter’s released a Perfect Indulgence line of ice cream flavors that are completely lactose-free and made from animal-free dairy.
Many of the flavors also fit into a vegan lifestyle, depending on the flavor.
However, it’s important to understand that these products may still contain “milk allergens” that don’t necessarily derive from the animal but the process of making milk.
Some Graeter’s flavors are naturally dairy-free, such as their sorbet flavors.
Star-D Kosher certification
Certain things in life make us believe in a higher power, such as a baby’s trusting smile, the snow-capped mountains of Alaska, and phenomenal ice cream.
Practicing Jews can get closer to God after visiting the synagogue on Saturday by treating themselves to one of God’s many earthly blessings in the form of Graeter’s ice cream without feeling guilty since all flavors contain Star-D Kosher certification.
The Jewish faith requires food to be “kosher”, which means a rabbi blessed it.
The tradition dates back to the seventh century and incorporates many of the food laws found in the Torah (the Old Testament).
Many of the laws originated with the intention of improving public health as well as they could with the limited scientific knowledge of the time.
The rules focus mainly on the preparation of meat and dairy.
While only 14% of non-Orthodox Jews in America practice kosher at home and many people question exactly how strictly God expects us to follow the tradition, it certainly doesn’t hurt to eat kosher when possible.
Graeter’s aspires to be inclusive to as many people as possible as part of their business practices, which is why they take the time and effort to go through the proper channels for people who do follow kosher.
Since it costs money to have products properly blessed, the costs end up in the cost of the product.
Today, the company is still owned and personally managed by the Graeter family.
Built on hard work, the current Graeter family continues to run the company in a way that would make Louis Charles Graeter proud four generations down the line.
Richard Graeter serves as the president and CEO.
Chip Graeter serves as the chief of retail operations.
Robert Graeter serves as the chief of quality assurance.
The family vibe infiltrates every shop.
The employees know the owners, and they know that the owners want customers to be treated like family.
You can always expect a smile from your ice cream artisan and a family-friendly atmosphere.
The Graeter family gets to honor their ancestors and work alongside their family members and delicious ice cream every day.
Anyone in this fortuitous position must feel blessed and want to give back.
Graeter’s proudly works with the following organizations in the community as well as numerous other charitable causes throughout the year:
- The Cure Starts Now Foundation: cancer research charity that dedicates 100% of donations to research.
- Tender Mercies: homeless support for vulnerable citizens.
- Boy Scouts of America: preparing boys to be independent and involved members of the community.
Feel free to show your support for these great causes if you feel inspired after the good feelings that come from eating Graeter’s ice cream this holiday season.
9. Celebrity Endorsements
In 2012, Forbes listed Oprah Winfrey as the most influential celebrity of the year (not referring to social media) and gave her a proprietary 49% influential rating compared to the 44% given to the second most influential celeb that year, Michael J. Fox.
Oprah spent years establishing herself as a lifestyle authority and ensuring that any product she endorsed was worthwhile.
(She has some pretty strict standards, too.
Just ask James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces.)
When Oprah says that Graeter’s is her favorite ice cream, that’s an endorsement I trust.
Oprah said just that, unprovoked, in 2002 on her national television show at the height of its popularity.
In fact, she said it three times to really make her point.
When this happened, Graeter’s business inflated to about 1,000 more orders a week than typical.
Oprah appears to have raved about the ice cream sincerely for the love of ice cream and not for a paid advertisement in any way, but we assume she was happy to receive a free pint or two on the house for the plug.
Don’t believe Oprah or don’t trust her taste?
Barstool Sports reviewed Graeter’s ice cream as well with equal enthusiasm.
Even Bill Clinton was spotted dipping into a Graeter’s ice cream shop to get a treat a couple of years back.
When you taste the ice cream for yourself, you will shout its praises, too.
10. Health Benefits Of Ice Cream
We are in the midst of a health crisis in America with the obesity rate at about 42.4% in 2017.
Obesity can lead to heart disease and diabetes among numerous other health problems and self-esteem issues.
Fatty foods should be consumed in moderation, and we should all get regular exercise.
Now that we’ve gotten the obligatory responsible message out of the way, ice cream is healthy for the soul and possibly the body.
Ice cream can greatly improve a person’s disposition, which can lead to better professional and personal social interactions.
Many people also get a surge of energy when they see a bowl of ice cream in front of them, increasing motivation and possibly improving productivity after the ice cream break is over.
Ice cream also contains health benefits (when consumed in moderation).
While the specific nutritional facts depend on the flavor of ice cream you select, all ice cream contains calcium and vitamins.
Calcium supports bone health and mobility, and we need vitamins to keep the body going.
While this may be a case of correlation not necessarily equaling causation, some reports also imply that ice cream can reduce the likelihood of getting cancer.
If you are dedicated to flavor, Graeter’s only produces full-flavor flavors.
You won’t find any diet options.
However, if you want to watch your caloric intake, you can opt for one of the sorbet flavors that are naturally much less fattening and lower in calories.
Graeter’s cookie dough chocolate chip ice cream contains 440 calories per serving, while a serving of their raspberry sorbet only contains 170 calories.
While extrapolating the data about why Graeter’s ice cream is so expensive, my primary finding is: who cares?
We only have a limited time on this earth, and we shouldn’t waste it eating budget ice cream made from low-quality ingredients.
This holiday season, get your family what they really want: Graeter’s ice cream.
You also deserve a pint for yourself for being so generous.
While the initial payment may sting a bit, you’ll find relief in your first bite of the product and happily agree that it was worth it.
Besides, Oprah approves of your decision.