China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest ice cream producer, according to statistics published at the 20th China International Ice Cream Industry Exhibition in Tianjin city.
Kicking off on Thursday, the exhibition, also known as Ice Cream China, is the biggest annual event in the domestic ice-cream and frozen food industry’s calendar.
According to a spokesperson from the China Association of Bakery & Confectionery Industry, the country produced more than 3.3 million tonnes of ice cream and sales of almost $US6.6bn in 2016, reports Xinhua.
“Taking the output of smaller producers into account, China’s total production of ice cream last year surpassed that of the United States,” added the spokesperson.
Although ice cream is believed to have been invented in China, it took more than 2,000 years for the Asian powerhouse to warm up to the frosty dessert.
Per capita consumption of ice cream in China was only one litre per annum 20 years ago, but in 2016 that number had tripled to three litres.
Moreover, China surpassed the US to become the world’s largest ice cream market in 2014.