Ice Cream Display Cases Key Terms / Industry / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you're in the ice cream business, a good quality ice cream display case is needed to keep your product fresh and show it off. ...

If you're in the ice cream business, a good quality ice cream display case is needed to keep your product fresh and show it off. Finding the right display case can be a challenge. Cases for novelty items and scoopable ice cream vary widely, so learn what type of case works best for each.

Understand a few basic ice cream display and freezer case terms to help you choose a case that meets your needs.

Dipping cabinet

A dipping cabinet is the basic ice cream freezer used for dishing up ice cream to customers. The cabinet is usually a chest-style freezer with a clear viewing area so customers can easily see all the flavors and you can easily dish up their ice cream.

Dipper station or well

The dipper well or dipper station is a container used to catch overflow of ice cream. The well, or sink, is a tub shape and usually includes a water spout and drain for cleaning ice cream scoops or spades. Cleaning spades between scoops prevents cross contamination of flavors and keeps your ice cream safe.

Display merchandisers

A display merchandiser for ice cream is a freezer case with easy access for customers. Only packaged ice cream treats should be placed in merchandisers to which customers have individual access.


Gelato is a type of frozen dairy with significant differences from ice cream. It is served a little warmer and tends to be much softer than a full-fat dairy ice cream. Gelato cases must be kept about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than ice cream to stay at it's optimal serving temperature. Special gelato cases should be used to serve and display it.

Novelty display

An ice cream freezer that displays ice cream treats is considered a novelty display. The freezer has shelves for different products and is usually accessible from the front for easy access by customers and back for easy stocking by store employees.

Self-contained refrigeration

An ice cream display case must have some kind of refrigeration system providing the cold air that keeps your ice cream cold. Most display cases need to have self-contained refrigeration, meaning the cooling system is contained inside the unit. If the system is not contained within the unit, extra room is needed to store the motor, compressor and cooling system next to the display.

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