Dippin' Dots

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Dippin' Dots, Inc.
FoundedMay 1988; 31 years ago (1988-05)
New Grand Chain, Illinois, U.S.
HeadquartersPaducah, Kentucky, U.S.
ProductsIce cream

Dippin' Dots is an ice cream snack invented by Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus, Curt Jones, in 1988.[1] The confection is created by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen.[2] The snack is made by Dippin' Dots, Inc., headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.[3]


Because the product requires storage at temperatures below −40 °F (−40 °C), it is not sold in most grocery stores, as most cannot meet such extreme cooling requirements. Dippin' Dots are sold in individual servings at franchised outlets, many in stadiums, arenas, shopping malls, and in vending machines, as well as at zoos, aquariums, and theme parks such as Morey's Piers, Busch Gardens, Knott’s Berry Farm, Schlitterbahn, Kings Island, Dollywood, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, PARC Management, Kennywood, SeaWorld, Worlds of Fun, and Big Surf.


Dippin' Dots Flavored Ice Cream

Dippin' Dots was founded in New Grand Chain, Illinois, in 1988. Jones began the company in his parents' garage.[1] It is now headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.[4]

In 1992 Dippin' Dots received U.S. Patent 5,126,156 for its ice cream making process, and in 1996 sued its main competitor, Mini Melts, for infringement. In 2007, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled against Dippin' Dots because the process of creating the ice cream was "obvious" rather than proprietary, and ruled the patent unenforceable because Dippin' Dots had sold the product commercially for over a year before applying for the patent.[5][6]

On November 4, 2011, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,[7] after failing to reach an agreement with their lender, Regions Bank. Regions Bank, according to the New York Times, had been trying to foreclose on Dippin' Dots for over a year.[4]

On May 18, 2012, U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the purchase of the company by Scott Fischer and his father Mark Fischer. The Fischers had co-founded Chaparral Energy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They retained company founder Curt Jones as CEO, and planned to expand from 1,600 sales locations to 2,000 locations, keeping the production and headquarters in Paducah, where it employed 165 people.[8]

In mid-2014, the company purchased gourmet popcorn franchisor Doc Popcorn, which had about 100 stores.[9] On February 10, 2015, the company announced they would co-brand stores with both products. The 1,000-square-foot stores would sell Dippin' Dots and Doc Popcorn, with a common selling counter, register, and employees.


Original Dots[edit]

  • Banana Splits
  • Birthday Cake
  • Bubble Gum
  • Candy Bar Crunch
  • Cookies 'n Cream
  • Caramel Brownie Sundae
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough
  • Cotton Candy
  • Kettle Corn
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Moose Tracks
  • Spookies 'n Cream
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
  • Liberty Ice
  • Rainbow Ice
  • Rocky Road
  • Rockin' Cherry Ice with Popping Candy
  • Sour Blue Razz
  • Vanilla (no sugar)
  • Redberry Sherbet
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Blueberry Sorbet
  • Mango-Pineapple Sorbet
  • Strawberry Sorbet

Dot Treats[edit]

  • LOL – Lots of Layers
  • Dot Sundae
  • Dot Shake
  • Solar Freeze
  • Dot Quakes
  • Sports Hat

Popping Candies[edit]

  • Rockin' Cherry Ice[10]
  • Frozeti Confetti[10]
Dippin' Dots stand at Carowinds amusement park.


Dippin' Dots had been a frequent subject of Sean Spicer's tweets. When he briefly served in the role of White House Press Secretary, these tweets resurfaced and received news coverage.[11]

Charity work[edit]

Dippin' Dots has sponsored the "Celebrity Grand Slam Paddle Jam" celebrity table tennis tournament in Hollywood, whose proceeds benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.[12]

The company is a contributor to the charity Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Curt Jones", Dippin Dots Website, accessed 14 Dec 2010
  2. ^ "Q & A: Dippin' Dots". Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  3. ^ "Dippin' Dots Contact Information." Dippin' Dots. Retrieved on March 5, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Mark Memmott (2011). "Dippin' Dots, 'Ice Cream Of The Future,' Files For Bankruptcy Protection". The Two-Way. National Public Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Kingson, Jennifer A. "In the Lab With the Ice Cream Makers". The New York Times. July 19, 2011
  6. ^ "What Went Wrong? Dippin' Dots: Why the USPTO Invalidated Its Patent and It Now Has Two New Competitors. www.dippindots.com. Part 4: Managing and Growing an Entrepreneurial Firm. Page 392
  7. ^ Gara, Antoine (November 4, 2011). "Dippin' Dots Melts: Deals to Watch". TheStreet.
  8. ^ "Dippin' Dots deal is done". The Oklahoman. May 18, 2012.
  9. ^ Ewen, Beth (July 3, 2014). "Doc Popcorn Scooped Up by Dippin' Dots". Franchise Times. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Flager, Madison (February 6, 2018). "Dippin' Dots New Flavor Is Infused With Popping Candies". Delish. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  11. ^ Sanders, Sam (January 24, 2017). "Dippin' Dots Beef Puts White House Press Secretary On The Spot". NPR.org. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "Dippin' Dots Presents Celebrity Grand Slam Paddle Jam to Benefit St Jude Children's Research Hospital – Red Carpet". Life. May 10, 2007
  13. ^ Aubruner, Kathy (July 2003). "Connecting the Dots". Village News. Funworld Magazine. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012.

External links[edit]