The ice-cream cone, one of the most brilliantly designed products in history, is losing its battle with the boring tub

March 17, 2014 6:24 pm

Save the cone

By Brian Groom

How can this happen? The ice-cream cone, one of the most brilliantly designed products in history, is losing its battle with the boring tub. According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales of cones or cornets in the UK fell 5.5 per cent last year despite a 6.9 per cent rise in overall ice-cream sales. Tubs of luxury ice cream to be eaten at home are leading the market.

A US government official once said: “The ice-cream cone is the only ecologically sound package known. It is the perfect package.” It has a sense of drama, too, not unlike human lives: a wide choice of beginnings, but the ice cream melts if you dither too long, ultimately vanishing into a narrowing tip of pleasure.

There are conflicting claims about who invented the cone. It was popularised at the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, where several people claimed to have come up with it, but there are earlier accounts of edible ice-cream cones being used in England, France and Germany in the 19th century.

The biggest casualty of today’s trends is the Cornetto, the pre-filled cone invented in Naples in 1959 and mass-marketed around the world after Unilever bought it in 1976. With appetites growing, the 90ml Cornetto is up against large “handheld ice-creams” such as Unilever’s own Magnum super-lolly.

The Cornetto is fighting back, though. This month Unilever launches the Cornetto Choc ‘n’ Ball, a 160ml monster topped with a chocolate-covered ice cream ball.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: