ice cream container sizes

Ice Cream Container Sizes – What You Want to Know

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There could be many different reasons why you would want to learn more about ice cream container sizes. And it is an important question to answer in different scenarios.

Are you starting an ice cream business? Are you planning a party? Do you need to calculate portions for an event? Are you trying to buy bulk and need to work out if it fits in your freezer? And there are loads more!

So today, we will take a look at the many aspects of ice cream container sizes. We’ll discuss the different options there are, their pros and cons, how many portions you can get from them, and their physical dimensions for storage purposes.

What Affects the Size of an Ice Cream Container?

There are a couple of factors that will affect the size of ice cream containers. But mainly, you are looking at the container material used and the purpose of the container (which pertains to the target market).

ice cream container sizes

If you are buying ice cream for a birthday party and need to feed 30 people, buying a large gallon will be better than buying 30 individual portions. It saves space, it saves plastic (or whatever material is used for the container), and it will save you a ton of money.

But, if you are trying to calorie lose weight, it’s definitely easier to have individual portions in your fridge. They will help you limit your intake and you can calculate your calories a lot better.

Now, looking at the type of container, you may not be able to buy a gallon of ice cream in a soft paper-like tub. This type of material is more often used for smaller containers, which don’t need to be as sturdy.

How to Choose the Perfect Container for Your Needs?

When deciding what the perfect ice cream container size is for your home or needs, there are a couple of things you can consider.

Amount Needed

This factor goes two ways. From the perspective of a producer and the perspective of the buyer.

As a Manufacturer

How much ice cream do you plan on making and how big does the container need to be for that? Do you want to store it in a bunch of small containers, or one large container? Do you have enough freezer space to store a large container?

ice cream preparation

Here you are considering your own storage capacities as a seller and the capacities and needs of your target market.

If your goal is selling individual portions, how big should the portions be? 

If you are making ice cream for your own personal use, how much do you want to make, or how often do you want to make ice cream?

As a Buyer

Secondly, you can look at it from a buyer’s point of view. The same questions apply, but it doesn’t have anything to do with MAKING the ice cream.

How much can you store? Are you buying for an event that requires X amount of portions? 

Those questions are all important and make a massive impact on the size of the container you end up getting (or can get).

Available Flavors

This pretty much only applies to buyers. 

You would love to get a massive tub of Pistachio-Mint ice cream, but nobody makes it in bulk. In that case, you have to buy the biggest options you can find until you reach your portion count.

Before calculating portions or freezer capacity, figure out what size the containers are that sell the flavor you are looking for. If that’s only a pint-sized container, you will only get 4 scoops. You will need to buy multiple containers for your event, in which case you need to figure out if you have freezer space.


Last and not least, a bigger ice cream container = a bigger cost. This goes for both empty containers (for manufacturers) and filled containers (for buyers).

This might not make a big difference to most of you. But in many situations, it’s really important.

Ice Cream Container Sizes

Without further ado, let’s dive in! We will be looking at the most common ice cream container sizes by volume, what their dimensions are, and how many scoops you will get from them.

ice cream container

But, for a quick guide, you can take a look at the table we’ve created below for your convenience. It’s a super easy way to figure out exactly what you need.

Common NameVolume (Size)Container DimensionsAmount Of Scoops (1/2 cup scoop size)
Kiddies Portions2 1/2 or 3 fluid ounces2.3’’ (W) x 2.8’’ (L) x 2.1’’(H)Do not scoop
Single-Servings4 fluid ounces
Do not scoop

5 fluid ounces2.9’’ (W) x 3.4’’ (L) x 2.2’’(H)Do not scoop
Half Pint8 fluid ounces3’’ (W) x 3.7’’ (L) x 2.2’’(H)Do not scoop

12 fluid ounces
3 scoops

14 fluid ounces
3 1/2 scoops
Pint16 fluid ounces3.8’’ (W) x 4.5’’ (L) x 2.8’’(H)4
1 Liter33 fluid ounces3.6’’ (W) x 4.6’’ (L) x 5.2’’(H)8 1/2 scoops
Half Gallon64 fluid ounces5.4’’ (W) x 7.4’’ (L) x 5.4’’(H)16 scoops
2 Liters67.5 fluid ounces5.4’’ (W) x 7.4’’ (L) x 5.4’’(H)17 scoops
Gallon128 fluid ounces
32 scoops

Kids Servings

There are a couple of different-sized containers, all considered to be “kiddie portions.”

They can vary between 2.5 ounces, 3 ounces, and 3.5 ounces. These containers will be available in plastic or recyclable paper-like materials.

The dimensions of the containers will vary depending on their shape. But usually, they will either be a 2.5-inch round container that’s 2.1 inches high (roughly). Or they can be rectangular measuring 2.3’’ (W) x 2.8’’ (L) x 2.1’’(H).

These only serve 1 portion and shouldn’t be used for scooping. 

Single-Serving Containers

Next up, we have a variety of single-serving containers. Now, the exact size that you want is up to you.

The common size options include 4 ounces, 5 ounces, 8 ounces, 12 ounces, and 14 ounces. 

Now, despite being classified as “single portions,” the larger container options can also be used for targeting couples.

The sizes obviously vary quite a lot. But usually, the height of these containers remains the same, at 2.2 inches.

The smaller single-serving portions shouldn’t be scooped. But you can try with the larger containers (it’s still not their purpose).

Pints (16 fluid ounces)

The term “pint” is the most commonly used to describe 16 fluid ounces of ice cream by volume. Other ways you can see it is as a half a quart or an eight of a gallon.

Usually, the size of these containers is 3.8” (W) x 4.5” (L) x 2.8”(H). Of course, the exact dimensions can differ from brand to brand, but the volume remains the same.

A pint of ice cream will give you 4 scoops 4 scoops (if the scoops are 1/2 cup each). Smaller scoops (of 1/4 cup each) will give you roughly 8 portions from this sized container.

1 Liter (33 fluid ounces)

Next up, is a metric measurement, liter. This is a very common tub-sized ice cream container. And not just overseas! Many imported brands use “liter” as their unit of measurement.

So, how much is it?

1 Liter is equivalent to 33 fluid ounces. These containers are usually 3.6’’ (W) x 4.6’’ (L) x 5.2’’(H). But as always, the shape and size can vary as long as it holds 33 fluid ounces.

Half Gallon (64 fluid ounces)

You will also see half a gallon portions everywhere. These containers are often 5.4’’ (W) x 7.4’’ (L) x 5.4’’(H).

These are solely meant for sharing and work well for scooping comfortably. From a container like this, you can easily get 16 scoops of ice cream.

Keep in mind, as a buyer, that these large tubs are mostly sold in plastic materials. The softer paper-like materials aren’t sturdy enough to effectively support their weight. You may be able to find specialized containers somewhere.

2 Liter (67.5 fluid ounces)

A 2-liter container of ice cream is pretty much the same as a half-gallon. But it’s slightly bigger, so still different.

These containers are the same in size, if not marginally larger or filled more. Plus, you only get 1 scoop extra from it.

Gallon (128 fluid ounces)

Finally, arguably the largest container of ice cream you can buy in stores, a gallon is meant for parties, events, or long-term use.

Each gallon of ice cream will give you 32 scoops. The containers are made from sturdy plastics and are almost always rectangular. This makes this much more sturdy because their weight is distributed better between your hands.

A container will roughly measure at 8.2’’ (W) x 8.2’’ (L) x 8.3’’(H).

For any larger tub than this, the height will simply increase, not the length or width.

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