Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

It’s Only Arctic Roll (But I Like It)

An Arctic roll is a British dessert made of vanilla ice cream wrapped in a thin layer of sponge cake to form a roll, with a layer of raspberry flavoured sauce between the sponge and the ice cream.

The dessert was invented in the 1950s by a Czech lawyer, Ernest Velden, who had emigrated to England in 1939.  He set up a factory in Eastbourne producing Arctic Roll in 1958, and the dessert quickly became very popular.

During the 1980s more than 25 miles of Birds Eye Arctic Roll was sold each month, however, sales slumped during the 1990s and eventually the manufacturer of Arctic Roll, Birds Eye, stopped producing the dessert.

The 2008 economic downturn saw the reappearance of Arctic Roll as consumers increasingly looked for low-cost foods.

While some consumers view the Arctic Roll as comfort food, others view it as old fashioned and the food writer Nigel Slater has even described it as tasting of “frozen carpet”.

Nonetheless, Birds Eye reported “overwhelming consumer demand” for the dessert. Indeed, from when Birds Eye started marketing Arctic Rolls again in December 2008 until April 2009, sales of the product were estimated at £3.5 million, or 3 million boxes (around 250 miles of Arctic Roll).

Commentators suggest that aside from Arctic Roll’s low price, many consumers buy the dessert out of feelings of nostalgia.

A number of UK supermarkets sell their own brand versions of Arctic Roll, both chocolate and raspberry variants, and did so even when Birds Eye were not marketing the product.

“It’s Only Arctic Roll (But I Like It)” – The Rolling Stones

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October 27, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music | , | Leave a comment


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