What is the Average Number of Scoops in a 3 Gallon Container of Ice Cream?

Q: Can anyone give me an approx number of 5 OZ scoops of ice cream in a 3 gallon container. I’m starting up a new parlor and am trying to get an estimate cost figure on items.

A: You ask a great question and it shows real planning on your part to get your math calculated to this level. It’s a great help when doing projections and calculating profit margins.

While on the surface this question sounds easy, we have to be careful about mixing measures of weight with measures of volume. One of the elements we need to keep in consideration is that different ice creams have different densities. For example a 3 gallon container of lower-grade ice cream that has less butterfat and more air, will produce fewer 5 OZ scoops than, say, a 3 gallon container of premium ice cream that is more dense.

However, if you are measuring volume (cups and gallons vs. ounces and gallons) the question gets easier.

The folks at Edy’s ice cream use 1/2 cup as the standard size of a single scoop of ice cream. This is a fairly descent size scoop.

There are 96 scoops of ice cream in a 3 gallon tub. However, you might want to trim that down by a scoop to accommodate for any ice cream lost in sampling and serving.

To calculate via 5 ounce scoops would require you knowing the density of the ice cream you are planning to serve. This will likely range based on the type of ice cream as mentioned earlier.

I hope this helps. Keep us posted and please return with any other questions.

Jason Lexell

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