Ice — in exotically shaped cubes, boozy popsicles or suffusing your coffee — is having its moment in the zeitgeist.
Why it matters: During a record hot summer when icebound places are melting rapidly, it makes sense that ice — a commodity we take for granted until it grows scarce — has turned chic.
Driving the news: Ice is popping up everywhere, all at once:
What they’re saying: “Cold has kind of taken over,” former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in an earnings call last November.
By the numbers: More than 60% of Gen Z consumers ordered a cold coffee drink from a food service location in the first half of 2022, compared with 33% who ordered a hot coffee drink, says Mintel, the trend-spotting consultancy.
Yes, but: Martha Stewart, on a Greenland cruise last month, caught heat for boasting on social media that someone had “captured a small iceberg for our cocktails tonight.”
Ice, ice baby: Housewares makers have cottoned to the craze, with new products like the Avanti countertop nugget ice maker (“enjoy the restaurant-quality nugget ice you crave”) and Oggi large-sphere ice cube molds. (Nuggets appeal to people who like to chew ice.)
Flashback: Before electric refrigerators became widely available in the 1930s, ice (in drinks and home iceboxes) was a status symbol for the wealthy — it was harvested from frozen lakes by horses pulling plow-like ice cutters.
In 2019, LG became the first refrigerator maker to produce those big round ice balls in its ice-making trays — something no other manufacturer is doing, according to William Kwon, senior product manager of refrigeration in LG’s home appliances division.
Meanwhile, ice is also making a strong showing in new food products, particularly those that cater to our growing taste for fun foods.
Where it stands: Designer ice has become “the height of domestic luxury,” per The New York Times.