Skip to main content

Torontonians scream for ice cream during heat wave

Delivery service Instabuggy says sales spiked 35% during first week of July

Torontonians are reaching for the Chunky Monkey as the city suffers through a prolonged heat wave.

Grocery delivery service Instabuggy says that its ice cream orders increased 35% in the past week, which saw temperatures hovering in the 30s and feeling closer to 40 Celsius with the humidex.

Instabuggy users ordered a combined 1,900 litres of ice cream between July 2 and 8, when temperatures averaged more than 29 degrees. That represents an approximately 500-litre increase from the previous week.

Instabuggy co-founder Julian Gleizer said that Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs, Del Monte popsicles and Chapman’s Ice Cream were the most popular brands with its users.

READ: InstaBuggy on the move with Sobeys

The service’s users ordered approximately 5,300 litres of ice cream in June, a number that is almost certain to be surpassed in July – which has already produced 11 days with temperatures of at least 27 degrees Celsius (including six days of 30 degrees or higher).

Ice cream sales also varied by neighbourhood. Residents in the city’s ritzy Forest Hill and Rosedale districts, for example, tended to purchase higher-end specialty brands such as Greg’s and Ciao Bella Sorbetto from Summerhill Market, while everyday brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Chapman’s were more popular in other regions.

The heat wave also produced a spike in sales of cases of water, with Gleizer speculating that people were not only thirsty, but reluctant to lug a 36-bottle case of water through a grocery store parking lot in extreme heat.

READ: Instabuggy adds prepared foods delivery

Instabuggy does not disclose user numbers, but Gleizer said that it has “thousands of thousands” of customers who use the service on a weekly basis, with an average basket size of $220.

Ice cream consumption has fallen significantly over the past decade according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, from an average of 9.85 litres per person in 2005 to 4.79 litres in 2015.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds