Milk Metrics

Babcock Dairy’s top three ice cream flavors — and other tasty trivia.

Babcock Dairy is as much a campus staple as Terrace sunsets and football Saturdays — each of which pairs beautifully with a scoop of Babcock’s signature frozen dessert. To tantalize your taste buds, we’ve compiled a collection of Babcock Dairy data, complete with more than a daily (or yearly) serving of calcium.

22 Flavors

Babcock typically offers 22 varieties of cheese. During the plant’s renovations, it pared the selection down to 12 but will build back to 22 within the year.

Breaking Even

To this day, the milk and cheese that Babcock sells on campus are priced only to cover the cost of ingredients, labor, and distribution. In short, the dairy hub isn’t turning a profit on keeping campus up on its calcium.

Illustration of a three-scoop ice cream cone

Triple Scoop

Babcock has seen plenty of flavors in its day, but its top three are perennial staples: Vanilla, Orange Custard Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Got Milk?

Babcock Dairy processes an average of 1,500 gallons of milk per day. Half of this goes toward making ice cream, and the other half goes toward milk and cheese.

If It Ain’t Broke…

The Babcock Dairy Plant recently got a much-needed upgrade, but the tried-and-true recipe for the ice cream base we know and love hasn’t changed since Babcock was founded in 1951. It still uses fresh, fluid milk; pure cane sugar; pure vanilla extract; 80 percent “airiness,” compared to the federal maximum of 100 percent; and 12 percent butterfat, compared to the federal minimum of 10 percent.

The Big Cheese(s)

At Babcock, three cheeses reign supreme: aged cheddar, dill havarti, and gouda.

Illustration of stacked frozen treatsGet It While It’s Cold

Like tax accountants and retail workers, Babcock dairy products have busy seasons. Ice cream sales ramp up around April and run through September. A typical summer week at the Babcock Dairy Store will see more than 700 dishes of ice cream scooped. Cheese season picks up in October and runs through January, ensuring all holiday spreads feature a little taste of home for Badgers.

Fan Club

Babcock ships its dairy products all around the country. These three cities are home to its most loyal customers: Madison, Chicago, Dallas.

What’s Cooler than Being Cool?

Babcock ice cream is stored in a freezer set at –20 degrees Fahrenheit (with a windchill of –40 degrees Fahrenheit). This allows the ice cream and mixed-in ingredients to set properly before being moved into the less-frigid freezers and dip cabinets of the Babcock Dairy Store and campus scoop shops.

Illustration of food scaleWith Cheese

Babcock Dairy sold more than 5,000 pounds of cheese in 2023.

Brain Freeze

Babcock sells an average of 75,000 gallons of ice cream every year.

Published in the Summer 2024 issue


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