There are businesses that can only thrive in certain locations, and one such business is an ice cream truck business. Ice cream trucks sell ice cream and different types of iced desserts, and as such it may not do well in places that are extremely cold like Iceland or any city that usually experiences sub-zero temperatures in some months of the year.
For the above reason, if you are considering starting an ice cream truck business, then you must make sure you look for states that experience hot weather for the better part of the year, or states that have longer summers.
Of course, there are states in the United States that meet these requirements, and these are the states we will discuss in this article.
Best State to Start an Ice Cream Truck Business
Arizona is considered to be one of the states with the hottest weather in the United States, especially the desert area, thus making it an ideal play for an ice cream truck business. For example, in Phoenix, Arizona, the summers are sweltering and dry, the winters are cool, and it is mostly clear year-round.
Nevada is considered the driest state in the US and is divided into semi-arid and arid climatic regions. The summers in Las Vegas get uncomfortably hot and the winters very cold, making the milder spring and autumn months the best and most popular times to visit.
Apart from the weather, with a population of 2,998,039 (2018 estimate), any business, including the ice cream business will definitely thrive in Nevada.
You may consider cities like Carson City, Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin to start your ice cream truck business.
New Mexico has a mild, arid, or semiarid, continental climate characterized by light precipitation totals, abundant sunshine, low relative humidity, and a relatively large annual and diurnal temperature range.
Apart from the weather which is a plus for those who are considering opening an ice cream truck business in New Mexico, the state government also has an elaborate system of tax credits and technical assistance to promote job growth and business investment.
You may consider starting your ice cream truck business in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Belen, and Raton.
In essence, if you want to start an ice cream truck business in the United States, you should consider Texas. Interestingly, the summers in Texas are hot and humid, and the winters are short, cold, dry, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year-round.
Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 36°F to 96°F and is rarely below 24°F or above 102°F. Apart from the hot and friendly weather in Texas, Texas has a population of 28,304,596 (2018 estimate) hence there is a large market for the ice cream truck business.
If Texas is your pick, then you may want to consider cities like Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas to start your ice cream truck business.
Louisiana’s climate is characterized by relatively short and mild winters, hot summers, and year-round precipitation. The Gulf of Mexico helps moderate the climate in the southern portion of the state, while temperatures and precipitation are more variable in the north. Cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Lafayette are ideal for starting an ice cream truck business.
The reason why you should consider Oklahoma is because summers are generally hot. Daytime temperatures in the nineties are commonplace, and thermometer readings of 100˚F or more are frequent, especially in the southwest.
Winters are cold in northern Oklahoma but quite mild in the south. Temperatures seldom fall below 10˚F, and rarely do they remain that low for long.
Interestingly, there are several cities that you may want to consider in Oklahoma. Cities like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, and Broken Arrow.
With a population of 21,299,325 (2018 estimate), and ideal weather, Florida is considered to be one of the best states in the U.S. to start an ice cream truck business.
The reason why Florida is considered a top pick is because summers are long, warm, and particularly humid, lasting from May to October.
The winters are quite short and dry, lasting from December to February. In January, the coldest month, the average temperature is 61°F (16°C). In July, the hottest month, the average temperature is 82°F (28°C).
Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando are some of the cities you may want to consider if you settle for Florida as a place where you want to start your ice cream truck business.
Mississippi has friendly weather, and the population to support small businesses. Major cities like Jackson, Lena, Hancock, and Harrison are known to support the growth of small businesses including the ice cream truck business.
Interestingly, Mississippi is located in the humid subtropical climate region, characterized by temperate winters; long, hot summers; and rainfall that is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. However, the state is subject to periods of drought and flood, and the climate rarely seems to bring “average” conditions.
Utah has a population of 3,101,833 (2018 estimate), and friendly weather that permits outdoor activities. Temperatures in the summer can get as hot as 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Winter can get as cold as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter and summer air is dry. Summers are hot, frequently reaching above 100°F (38°C), while winters are cold and snowy.
In 2014, Utah was ranked number one in Forbes’ list of “Best States for Business”. This is indeed one of the reasons why an investor should consider starting an ice cream truck business in Utah.
The reason why you should choose Arkansas as a place to start an ice cream truck business is because Arkansas has a growing population of 3,013,825 (2018 estimate), and suitable weather for the better part of the year.
The climate of Arkansas is classified as “humid subtropical.” Generally, there is a significant amount of precipitation every month, and temperatures tend to be mild compared with the northern part of the country.
Both temperatures and precipitation decrease from south to north. Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Springdale are ideal cities to start an ice cream truck business in Arkansas.
With a population of 10,519,475 (est. 2018), and ideal weather all year round, Georgia is no doubt, one of the states where ice cream truck is meant to thrive.
The average temperature in the east ranges between 60F to 75F (20C to 24C) in summer and between 36F to 39F (2C to 4C) in winter. Western Georgia experiences a sub-tropical, maritime climate, and summer temperatures average around 72F (22C), dropping to 41F (5C) in winter.
Some of the best cities you may want to consider if Georgia is your pick are Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah.
The reasons why you should consider South Carolina is because the state has a growing population (5,024,369 (2018 estimate)), and ideal weather that supports outdoor activities.
South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers throughout most of the state. Mild winters predominate in the eastern and southern parts of the state but cool to occasionally cold winters are the standard in the northwestern areas of the state, especially areas at or above 600 feet in elevation.
Cities like Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant are cities you should consider if you want to start an ice cream truck business in South Carolina.
With a population of 39,557,045 (2018 estimate), and ideal weather, California is indeed a good place to start an ice cream truck business.
Much of California has a Mediterranean-like climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. On the coast, the average daily high-temperature hovers around 70°F and up but can occasionally spike to 80°F or more on the hottest summer days; freezing temperatures are rare, even in winter.
Apart from the population, and weather, one major reason why any investor should consider starting an ice cream truck business in California is that the state’s economy ranks among the largest in the world.
As of 2018, the gross state product (GSP) was $3.0 trillion ($76,000 per capita), the largest in the United States. Major cities like Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose are ideal cities to start your ice cream truck business.
Hawaii is blessed with sunshine virtually all year round, so any time would be a great time for ice cream. Temperature changes are minor:
During the summer, the average daytime temperature is 85°; in the winter, it is 78°. Even near-shore ocean temperatures do not vary that much, averaging 74° throughout the year.
Apart from the friendly weather, one of the major reasons why you may want to consider starting an ice cream truck business in Hawaii is because Hawaii welcomes loads of tourists, and the outdoor activity in the state is bubbling.
Tennessee has a population of 6,715,984 (2018 estimate), and friendly weather that permits outdoor activities. Although, Tennessee has neither blistering summers nor frigid winters.
Yearly average temperatures come in at 40 degrees for winters and around 83 degrees during summers. Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga are some of the cities you should consider if Tennessee is your pick.
The reason for this is not far-fetched; North Carolina has 15 metropolitan areas, and in 2010 was chosen as the third-best state for business by Forbes Magazine, and the second-best state by Chief Executive Officer Magazine.
North Carolina has a population of 10,273,419 (2018 estimate), and the friendly weather is ideal for an ice cream truck business. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 33°F to 89°F and is rarely below 21°F or above 96°F.
Major cities like Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Durham are ideal cities to start your ice cream truck business in North Carolina.
Kansas has a population of 2,913,123 (2018 estimate), and friendly weather that is ideal for outdoor activities. Generally, the summers in Kansas are pretty warm, the winters are mild, and the humidity is moderate.
January is the coldest month, with average high temperatures near 31 degrees. July is the warmest month, with average high temperatures near 81 degrees.
Much hotter summers and cold winters are not uncommon. Wichita, Overland Park, and Topeka are some of the best cities to start an ice cream truck business in Kansas.
Missouri has a growing population of 6,113,532 (2018 estimate), and a weather that is suitable for outdoor activities. Because of its inland location, Missouri is subject to frequent changes in temperature. While winters are cold, and summers are hot, prolonged periods of very cold or very hot weather are unusual.
Occasional periods of mild, above-freezing temperatures are noted almost every winter. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 26°F to 90°F and is rarely below 9°F or above 99°F.
Major cities like Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis are ideal cities to start your ice cream truck business in Missouri.
This is because Kentucky has a population of 4,454,189 (2018 estimate). Kentucky enjoys four distinct seasons, each with its own virtues. The state has an average annual high of 87°F in summer and an average low of 23°F in winter.
Spring and fall are the most pleasant times to visit weather-wise. Frankfort, Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green are some of the major cities you should consider if Kentucky is your pick.
Ohio has a growing population of 11,658,609 (2018 estimate), and friendly weather all year round that supports outdoor activities.
Central Ohio experiences a humid continental climate with hot and humid summers and generally cool to cold winters. Compared to the rest of the country, precipitation in Ohio is moderate, and relatively consistent year-round.
Columbus, Canton, Mansfield, Wooster, Lima, and Van Wert are some of the major cities you may consider starting your ice cream truck business in Ohio.
Before starting your ice cream truck business in any of the states listed above, it is important to conduct thorough market research, create a solid business plan, and consider factors like competition, weather patterns, and local regulations.
If done strategically, any of the states listed above can offer ample opportunities for a successful ice cream truck business, especially in areas with high foot traffic and tourist attractions.