Mallorca visitors may soon have to go without sangria in hotels, restaurants and bars. Ice cubes are essential for what is probably the most popular summer drink in Spain – and they are becoming increasingly scarce not only on the holiday island in the Mediterranean, but throughout the holiday country. The increased demand due to the heat waves and the increase in production, storage and transport prices led to an ice cube shortage that is becoming increasingly serious. “Everywhere in the country there is a shortage of ice cubes,” wrote the newspaper “El Mundo”.
Someone who knows the situation very well is the entrepreneur Miguel Ángel Vázquez Gavira, who is called “Rey del Cubito”, “King of the Ice Cube” in Spain, because his company has a share of over 20 percent in the domestic market and is also active in other European countries. In an interview with “El Mundo” (Sunday edition) he says: “Every day I get calls from entrepreneurs who cry begging me for ice cream.” He has never experienced that. “And the worst is yet to come. The next few weeks will be dramatic,” warns the 56-year-old.
In the supermarkets in Madrid and Barcelona, on Mallorca and Ibiza, the ice cube freezer compartments are now almost always empty. Delivery companies and large supermarket chains like Mercadona have been rationing the ice cream for days. Many companies only supply regular customers. “If we had to sell to everyone, the ice cream would last for an hour,” Mateo Obrador, partner of the distribution company JOP, was quoted as saying by the newspaper “Diario de Mallorca”.
According to industry information, demand in the summer climbed from four to eight million kilos per day. Only two million would be produced every day. In winter, because of the high electricity prices, there was practically no production at all for stocks, unlike usual. The ice cream prices have meanwhile increased sixfold in some cases.