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Warwick Ice Cream spreads from Rhode Island to China

Staff writer |
Next week, a large shipment of a sweet and creamy product that left Boston Harbor on March 1 is scheduled to arrive in China.

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It is ice cream made by an 85-year-old company in the state of Rhode Island, which hopes the country will be its latest market.

"We are sending the ice cream in refrigerated cargo containers," said Tom Bucci, a fourth-generation family member who runs Warwick Ice Cream. "The trip to China takes anywhere from 45 to 50 days."

Bucci said that the buyer in China, who will distribute Warwick Ice Cream, sought him out and specified the flavors that he believed will be successful in China. "We will make a premium ice cream in everything from vanilla to sea salt caramel," Bucci said.

Haagen-Dazs, a brand owned by General Mills, basically created the premium ice cream market in the United States. That brand is also a big seller in China, according to Bucci. As the country's economy has expanded so has the demand for milk, cheese and ice cream.

Euromonitor International, a market-research concern, said in a January report that it expected demand for premium ice cream in China to increase.