In May of 2017 I headed towards Branson, Missouri to start what I call the “Texas Loop,” a roughly 6-week swing through the south-central United States. After spending the second night on the road in Memphis, Tennessee (and having lunch at an awesome rib joint there which wasn’t open the day I tried to eat at while visiting Memphis the year before) I headed north on some scenic roads which would take me through northwest Tennessee before crossing over into Missouri.
As I drove through Covington, TN, about a half hour north of Memphis, I saw this facility on my right:
I stopped and after doing some quick research on my smartphone discovered that after it’s expansion in 2013 this was the largest ice cream factory in the world (you are only seeing a small part of it). It is owned by Unilever and, as you can see, produces a wide variety of frozen treats. Unfortunately there were no tours offered. If nothing else I wanted to ask them why I can’t buy Good Humor Toasted Almond bars (my all-time favorite) in North Carolina….
While doing research for this post I found that the claim to “largest ice cream factory in the world” now belongs to a plant in Bakersfield, California. That plant, owned by Nestle, covers 650,000 square feet and churns out (pun intended) 70 million gallons of ice cream and 98 million dozen frozen snacks each year! Nestle owns Dreyer’s, the most popular ice cream brand in the western US, whereas Unilever owns Breyer’s, which is the most popular brand in the eastern US (where Dreyer’s is sold under the name Edy’s).