So how did the "99" get its name?

The ‘99’ Flake can trace the roots of its name all the way back to Italy

Nothing seems to anger nostalgic Brits quite like the fact that “99” Flakes don’t cost 99p. Except perhaps the extortionate price of Freddo chocolate bars.

Some people assume that the “99” Flake derives its name from its original cost. However, this isn’t the case.

While the origin of the “99” Flake name is still somewhat shrouded in mystery, there is apparently a logical reason for its title that has nothing to do with the price tag.

The name of the “99” Flake, an ice cream cone traditionally served with a Cadbury Flake perched inside, was reportedly inspired by Italian royalty.

It all stems back to Italian soft ice cream makers working in County Durham in the 1920s who decided to incorporate the Flake into their ice creams in order to increase interest and boost sales.

Their chosen combination proved very popular, so much so that they needed to devise a memorable name for their innovative creation.

In the days of the monarchy in Italy the King has a specifically chosen guard consisting of 99 men, and subsequently anything really special or first class was known as ‘99’ – and that is how ‘99’ Flake came by its name Cadbury states.

While the regal connection of the “99” Flake to the Italian monarchy may sound impressive, there are other theories circulating about how the ice cream obtained its name.

In 1922, a man called Stefano Arcari opened up an ice cream shop in Scotland at 99 Portobello High Street.

He would apparently break a Flake in half and then place it in the ice cream to serve to his customers, taking inspiration from the shop’s address for the ice cream’s name.

It has been a family legend for as long as I can remember that my grandad invented the ‘99’, but the problem is, we have no proof,” Tanya Arcari, Stephen’s granddaughter told the BBC.

My dad always said that my grandad broke a Flake in half – before the short ‘99’ Flakes were manufactured – and stuck it in an ice cream.
We’re not sure of the exact date he did that, but it was not long after he opened the shop in 1922.

Rudi Arcari, Stephen’s son, believes that a representative from Cadbury’s may have then taken the idea.

Others speculate that the “99” Flake was so-called to honour the i Ragazzi del 99, “the Boys of ‘99’.

They were a group of soldiers born in 1899 and so the last to enlist in the First World War.

Some streets in Italy have been named after them in commemoration.

See us at the Ice Cream and Gelato Expo 2019!

See us 12th-14th February at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate

The Ice Cream and Gelato Expo is a unique expo showcasing a huge assortment of ice cream varieties together with its equipment and supplies. This show provides a unique forum for suppliers, retailers, caterers and manufacturers of ice cream products. 

The show aims to encourage and support the production, vending and consumption of premium quality ice creams and other frozen treats. The Ice Cream and Gelato Expo also showcases the various types of machinery and equipment’s utilized by the ice cream industry.

The event enjoys massive popularity among all the sections of the society and within all age groups. The event provides the ideal opportunity to business to build brand images, create and optimize business opportunities and launch new products.

If you’re looking for new products, suppliers, inspiration or a new business venture, don’t miss out on the only dedicated exhibition for the Ice Cream Industry.

To pre-register please click here.

Click here to watch the highlights of the Ice Cream Expo 2017 or click here to watch Steve Christensen: The Ice Cream Bloke’s videos of the first and second day.

Opening Times

Tuesday 12th February
10.00am – 5.00pm (last entry 4.30pm)

Wednesday 13th February
10.00am – 5.00pm (last entry 4.30pm)

Thursday 14th February
10.00am – 3.00pm (last entry 2.30pm)

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New addition to the Ciccarelli family business

If you’ve had an Italian gelato in the North East of England, chances are it will have been made by one of the Gregorio brothers of family-run business Ciccarelli. The fleet operators, food service wholesalers and owners of a gelateria on South Beach still use an antique Carpigiani L40 to make multi award winning gelato – but the veteran has recently been joined by a brand new Cattabriga Multifreeze Pro 18.

We spoke to Domenico to find out how the two new workmates were getting along.

Ciccarelli started serving gelato to the people of Northumberland in 1966 from just one ice cream van. Today the business, which is run by the five Gregorio brothers Michele, Antonio, Gino, Franco and Domenico, operates a fleet of 30 vans, multiple static pitches, a beach-side Artisan Gelateria, 200 cover Fish & Chip Restaurant Takeaway and an Ice Cream Factory which wholesales to some of the best known restaurants and tourist attractions in the region.

Named for mother Elena (nee Ciccarelli), who still plays an active role in the business, the gelateria produces over 40 flavours daily, using the finest ingredients from Italy blended with milk and cream from the local dairy. The family don’t use freezers for storage but produce fresh batches on multiple batch freezers all day, every day – which leads you to wonder – just how many litres will the Carpigiani have produced in its life span?

They invested in their brand new Cattabriga Multifreeze Pro 18 after Franco visited the Machinery World stand at the Ice Cream Expo and was shown the batch machine in action. His positive reaction prompted Domenico to drive to Machinery World with some mix to try it out first hand:

Whilst we have been buying parts from Machinery World for about ten years, we used to buy our machines from Italy,” says Domenico. “But being able to pop down and trial the machine with our own mix was fantastic – and I was incredibly impressed from the word go with both the machine and the Machinery World approach.

hey were as fast and efficient with the delivery and installation of the Cattabriga as they are with the spare parts arm of the business,” he continued. “An engineer came up, installed the machine and did a full days’ training with the staff. He also left his phone number which was great, as with most things it takes time to get used to – we didn’t believe how efficiently it could work at lower settings. When we came across a problem he answered straight away and gave us all the reassurance we needed as we kept jamming up the blade.

And the machine itself?

I have always wanted a brand new Cattabriga,” admits Domenico “and LOVE the economy of metal blades, as I change the plastic scrappers religiously every season on all the batch freezers.

The capacity range is incredible – I still can’t quite believe that you can mix anything between 2litres and 18litres in the same barrel.

The girls love it too:

It freezes really quickly, making production so efficient – we were using 3 machines in a pattern continuously making small batches all day, but now I just use this one – Jessica

I like how we can choose separate settings for the sorbets, the choice of levels of hardness and how quickly it freezes. The front door doesn’t ice up either so it is incredibly easy to operate – Kirsten

So will the Cattabriga take the place of the Carpigiani?

It is a fantastic machine, but, hey, the L40 is family – if you can’t use the stick (paddle) you’re not a true gelateo!” laughs Domenico.

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Planning ahead for 2019!

The Ice Cream Alliance is a membership association that supports the ice cream industry. Their mission is to “encourage and support the production, vending and consumption of premium ice creams and other frozen treats”.

It is the only membership trade association for the ice cream industry in the United Kingdom and is the organiser of the Ice Cream Expo. This is an annual event and the only one of its kind in the UK, attracting visitors and businesses from all over the world.


What does the ICA do?

The Ice Cream Alliance works hard to represent the interests of its members as well as the general trade and to promote the industry as a whole. This can involve liaising with authorities such as EHOs, Trading Standards, planning officers and event organisers to best help members.

More particularly, they are involved in an ongoing campaign regarding ice cream in schools, including lobbying Parliament and influencing policy makers, addressing the media and giving access to practical tools to help their members.

They are also working hard to promote quality ice cream. This involves giving the public information about what real artisan ice cream is and the opportunity to enjoy local ice cream products.

If you’d like a copy of the 2019 Wall Planner, you can download one on the link below

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BBC’s The One Show visit the ICA Awards

BBC’s The One Show paid a visit to the Ice Cream Alliance Awards and spoke to some of Machinery World’s customers about their winning ice entries.

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Ice-cream meltdown

With temperatures exceeding 30C this week in the UK, it’s sent the British public into ice-cream meltdown, with retailers reporting a sales increase of over one hundred per cent on this time in 2017.

The Met Office have issued a health warning urging people to take precautions against sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke, but it appears many people are taking some extra cooling off steps – by stocking up our freezers with ice creams and other frozen deserts.

At Waitrose, recent sales have broken all previous records.

“Last week was our biggest ever week of ice-cream sales,” says Jess Hughes, a senior PR manager for the supermarket. Summer sales of their ice cream tubs have risen by 100 per cent compared to 2017, while sales of children’s ice lollies have shot up by 175 per cent. 

Surprisingly, ‘adult’ ice lollies have topped the frozen deserts charts at the retailer, with an increase in sales of 188 per cent.

Over at Sainsbury’s, the figures around ice-cream sales have also soared, with them announcing an increase of 71 per cent in sales of both hand-held ice-creams and sharing tubs week-on-week.

If you’re struggling to cope with production, or need machinery servicing, give us a call for some expert advice or take a look at our used ice cream machinery or our new ice cream machinery that we have in stock today that can increase your productivity.

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Men in black

Our new VW Transporter service van has arrived in gleaming back paintwork with new graphics to match our website.

The vehicle joins our existing fleet which will all eventually be upgraded with matching vehicles.

The Machinery World brand is a very visible aspect of our business, therefore we were keen to integrate it strongly onto our vehicle liveries with the help of our long-standing design and digital agency HTDL who designed the vehicle livery.

Commented Paul Crowter, Managing Director

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New video gallery

We’ve added a brand new section to our website showcasing all of our machine videos we take.

Video is a fantastic way of showing machinery in action and can often negate the need to view first hand, especially when our customers span the entire world. As such, the practicalities of being able to review machinery we have for sale at your desk or on your mobile makes this a useful resource.

Featuring all our major dairy machinery brands including Alfa Laval, APV Gaulin, Benhill, Carpigiani, Cattabriga, GEA Wetfalia, Gram, Promag, ROKK, Seital SPX, Stephan, Technogel, Tecnofreeze and Tetra Pak, all of our videos show the actual machines for sale, often in use too.

See the video gallery here

You can also see all of these videos on our Youtube channel here.

For more information on any of our used dairy and processing machines, just get in touch.

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A vanilla ice-cream shortage has hit the UK

When asked their favourite ice cream flavour, few people would say vanilla – but now that we’ve found out the UK has a shortage of the stuff, we’re suddenly aware of how much we love it.

The perfect accompaniment to apple crumble, treacle tart and, um, more exciting ice cream flavours, vanilla is a mainstay in many household freezers.

The nation’s favourite flavour is already out of stock for the foreseeable future in some of the capital’s gelato stores, with one shop in Chiswick, West London, posting a sign telling customers that an “unprecedented” vanilla pod shortage was to blame.

It’s due to poor harvests earlier this year in Madagascar, which caused the price of vanilla pods to soar by up to 500 per cent.

A hefty cyclone, named Enwao, hit the country – where 80 per cent of the world’s vanilla is produced – in March and destroyed a substantial part of the island’s vanilla plantations, which reduced production rates by 30 per cent.

Mamy Razakarivony, president of the national vanilla exporters’ group, described this as a ‘catastrophic season’ in an interview with Reuters, and it seems this has now impacted the UK, with ice cream chains putting signs in their windows saying the classic ice cream is out of stock.

According to the Evening Standard, Odonno’s in Chiswick informed customers that an ‘unprecedented’ shortage of vanilla pods meant that vanilla ice cream would not be on the menu.

We hope we can resume offering vanilla ice cream as soon as the new 2017 vanilla crop becomes available said the owners.

Unsurprisingly, this is already having a huge impact on British retailers, particularly smaller outlets with lower resources for whom the price has become too much to grapple with.

Vanilla has been the most popular ice cream flavour in the UK for decades, according to the Ice Cream Alliance, but it looks like the shortage will have us reaching for riskier alternatives that many cutting-edge gelato shops now offer, think basil, olive oil and beetroot.

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A recipe for success

Frederick’s Ice Cream of Chorley, Lancashire has been making delicious ice cream to a traditional Italian family recipe for over 100 years – but the company has recently added a new ingredient or two to their mix.

The Federici family, now in their fourth generation of ice cream expertise, have invested in their brand new Cattabriga Multifreeze 18 Pro Batch Freezer and ROKK RIF1500 ingredients feeder, and are already noticing the difference.

“We chose these two machines from Machinery World’s wide range because they are not only reliable but also extremely energy efficient, which is very important to us,” explains Donna Townson, a third generation Federici who runs the business with her parents Tony and Liz, brother Louis and sister Roseanne, “but they are also so versatile and easy to use, enabling us to add ingredients in a whole range of different ways”. 

Another unexpected benefit was the texture of the ice cream, as Louis, who runs the production side of the business, explains:

“Cattabriga are the Ferrari of batch freezers, so we knew the technology would be top of the range and give us so much production flexibility and thus efficiency,” he says, “but we were surprised – and delighted – with how much smoother the ice cream is – it’s the perfect texture for our range of luxury ice creams”.

There certainly is a range to be proud of: Frederick’s have over 100 delicious handmade flavours in stock at any time, and more than 200 recipes to choose from, each made using a blend of the highest quality natural ingredients combined with Italian passion and expertise.

The ROKK ingredients feeder enables the family to add inclusions such as honeycomb, Oreo cookie pieces, chocolate chips and fruit preparations to the ice cream as it comes out of the continuous freezer, which is invaluable for their wholesale customers as Donna explains:

“Many of our hotel, garden centre, restaurant, dessert bar and even wedding customers like to offer bespoke flavours, designed perhaps to complement a specific menu, season or celebration.  Our new equipment – and on-site labelling facilities – mean we can produce small, high quality batches quickly and efficiently.”

So is the relationship with Machinery World another new recipe for Frederick’s? 

“Not at all,” laughs Donna: “Machinery World are a tried and tested part of our history, just like our ingredients”

The relationship began about six years ago, when they traded in two small machines for a second-hand continuous freezer which had been refurbished to the highest standard by Machinery World’s in-house expert engineers.  The team continue to service the machine, ensuring it never misses a beat. 

“We love working with Machinery World,” says Donna.  “They really understand our business and are extremely knowledgeable, with superb after sales service.  They are also hugely versatile: we were able to trade-in one of our older machines, which made it possible for us to afford the new, top of the class machinery we really wanted”.

Whilst the two latest additions to the Frederick’s mix feature the latest technology, it is the way in which the family combine traditional recipes, luxury ingredients and age old ice cream expertise with the use of modern machinery that the fourth Federici generation, Emma and Amy are learning, ensuring every lick will continue to taste unbelievably delicious for years to come.

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