Dippin' Dots

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Dippin' Dots, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded May 1988; 28 years ago (1988-05)
New Grand Chain, Illinois, U.S.
Headquarters Paducah, Kentucky, U.S.
Products Ice cream
Website dippindots.com

Dippin' Dots is an ice cream snack, invented by Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate Curt Jones in 1987.[1] The confection is created by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen.[2] The marketing slogan is "Ice Cream of the Future". The snack is made by Dippin' Dots, Inc., headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.[3]


Dippin' Dots Flavored Ice Cream

The company of Dippin' Dots was officially founded in the town of New Grand Chain, IL (referred to by locals as simply "Grand Chain") in 1988. Jones began the company in his parents' garage.[1] The company is now headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.[4] Because the product requires storage at temperatures below −40 °F (−40 °C), it is not sold in grocery stores, which cannot provide such extreme cooling requirements.[5] Dippin' Dots are sold in individual servings at franchised outlets, many in stadiums, arenas, shopping malls, and in vending machines, as well as at theme parks such as Schlitterbahn, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, PARC Management, Kennywood, and SeaWorld and Big Surf.

In 1992, Dippin' Dots acquired a patent on its ice cream and, in 1996, sued its main competitor, Mini Melts for infringement. In 2007, the Court 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.[6][7]

On December 19, 2008, the company announced that it was exploring the option of combining resources with another, unknown company. The spokesperson for the company stated "Dippin' Dots will continue to take orders and ship product as we have for the past twenty years".[8]

On February 10, 2015, the company announced that two leading snack companies, Dippin' Dots and Doc Popcorn are co-branding which means that they are going to combine the two snacks and control both brands under the same organization. Companies made a store that is about 1,000 square feet that will give the opportunity to offer both Doc Popcorn and Dippin' Dots. It is part of their co-branding which are sharing the same space / store, counter, register and workers. By co-branding Doc Popcorn could get benefit by both domestically and internationally as Dippin' Dots was already spread out. Founders of both Doc Popcorn and Dippin' Dots stated that co-branding will benefit both brands as it is basically expanding each of them by parts which helps to double the product offerings.


On November 4, 2011, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[9] Dippin' Dots states that it was due to a failure to reach an agreement with their lender, Regions Bank after attempts to do so. However, 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 co-founded Chaparral Energy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They said company founder Curt Jones would remain as CEO and would attempt to increase from 1,600 sales locations to 2,000 and would keep the production and headquarters in Paducah where it employs 165 people.[10]


There are three different kinds of Dippin' Dots: original dots, dot treats, and dot monster munch. Additionally, limited-run flavors are created for specific locations or events, such as Shamu's Mint Chocolate Flip sold exclusively at SeaWorld locations.

Original Dots[edit]

  • Banana Splits
  • Birthday Cake
  • Bubble Gum
  • Candy Bar Crunch
  • Cookies 'n Cream
  • Caramel Brownie Sundae
  • Cuddle Bug Pie
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough
  • Cotton Candy
  • Kettle Corn
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Moose Tracks
  • Spookies 'n Cream
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
  • Liberty Ice
  • Rainbow Ice
  • 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]

  • Dot Goat
  • LOL - Lots of Layers
  • Dot Sundae
  • Dot Shake
  • Solar Freeze
  • Dot Quakes

Dot Monster Munch[edit]

  • Baby Bea's Booger Batter
  • Chewy Chompers' T-Rex Rocks
  • Furry Ferguson's Polar Bear Poop
  • Miss Muddle's Monster Muck
  • Pigtail Penelope's Tickle-Me-Pink
  • Smelly Nelly's Monkey Mess
  • Sour Susie's Speckled Slime
  • Uncle Gus' Snot Rocket Chocolate

International business[edit]

Dippin' Dots is a company which is spread out internationally. Dippin' Dots companies are now located in "Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Canada, US, Russia, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Greece, Belgium, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and Australia" ("Dippin' Dots International") internationally. To recommend the company to bring Dippin' Dots to certain countries, they can contact Dippin' Dots company directly.


"Dippin' Dots Franchising (DDF) offers services and support for Dippin' Dots® Franchised Businesses. Dippin' Dots Inc. makes Dippin' Dots® ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and ice products. The company offers to franchise a retail store or vending machines featuring the sale of novelty frozen ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and ice products. A franchisee will sell products and services to the general public" ("Dippin' Dots Franchise").


Dippin' Dots stand at Carowinds amusement park.

The Dippin' Dots Franchising, Inc. brand earned rank 112 and then 175 on the Entrepreneur "Franchise 500" in 2008 and 2009, respectively.[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 16 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Stech, Katy. "Dippin' Dots Tries to Avoid Meltdown ". The Wall Street Journal. November 5, 2011
  6. ^ Kingson, Jennifer A. "In the Lab With the Ice Cream Makers". The New York Times. July 19, 2011
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ "Local Company Makes Major Announcement". 
  9. ^ "Dippin' Dots Melts: Deals to Watch". 
  10. ^ Dippin' Dots deal is done | News OK
  11. ^ "Dippin' Dots Franchising". Entrepreneur magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  12. ^ "Dippin' Dots Presents Celebrity Grand Slam Paddle Jam to Benefit St Jude Children's Research Hospital - Red Carpet". Life magazine. May 10, 2007
  13. ^ Aubruner, Kathy. "Connecting the Dots". Village News. July 2003

External links[edit]