NYC Parents Outraged over $14 Waffle Cone Ice Cream: ‘Taking Advantage of Inflation’

Teen girl with pink eating ice-cream outdoors in summer - stock photo
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Parents in New York City were outraged after having to fork over $14 for a waffle cone at an ice cream truck.

Several parents decided to treat their children to ice cream from a pink ice cream truck near Astoria Park in the neighborhood of Queens. However, they paid more than they had intended; one paid $26 for his two children, according to the New York Post.

The ice cream truck reportedly charged $5 in cash for a single cone and $5.99 by credit or debit card. A double cone cost $10 in cash and $10.99 by credit or debit card, while a sundae and milkshake each cost $12 in cash and $12.99 by credit or debit card.

“Some people are taking advantage of inflation,” Henry Fernandez told the outlet, adding that he had given the lady a $20 bill thinking he would “get some change back,” only to end up paying “$26 to treat his two kids” with a small sundae and shake float.

Another parent, who ended up paying $14 for a waffle cone, told the outlet that if parents tried to take away ice cream from children, they would “get pissed,” and parents would “have a difficult afternoon.”

The outlet pointed out that ice cream truck vendors in different parts of the city had similar pricing for their products.

Steven Christensen, the executive director of the North American Ice Cream Association, explained to the outlet that many of these vendors are “striking while the iron is hot.”

A No Kid Hungry New York poll, released in April, found that 85 percent of people in New York feel that the cost of food is increasing faster than their incomes.

Out of those polled, 47 percent said that within the last 12 months, it had “become harder” for them to afford groceries, while 32 percent said it was “somewhat harder.” Eighteen percent of people said it was about the same, two percent said it was “somewhat easier,” and just one percent said it was much easier for them to afford groceries.

Over the past few years, ice cream truck owners have been forced to increase prices to deal with ongoing inflation.

The New York Times reported in July 2022 that as ice cream truck owners were left to compete with traditional ice cream shops — especially ones that used delivery apps such as DoorDash or UberEats — owners were faced not only with rising food and gas costs but the cost of repairs to the equipment and truck:

Owning an ice cream truck used to be a lucrative proposition, but for some, the expenses have become untenable: The diesel that powers the trucks has topped $7 a gallon, vanilla ice cream costs $13 a gallon and a 25-pound box of sprinkles now goes for about $60, double what it cost a year ago.

One ice cream vendor in Queens explained to the outlet that after his “slushy machine broke down,” he needed $1,600 for a part to fix it. After waiting a couple of months to save money for the part, the price reportedly almost doubled to $3,000, leading him to take slushies off his menu.


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