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Hawaiian Shaved Ice vs. Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Both Hawaiian shaved ice and soft-serve ice cream are popular choices for customers everywhere regardless of the season. But which one is the better choice for sellers?


Soft-serve ice cream has many merits in terms of taste and flavor, but for sellers, soft-serve is a poor choice when compared to Hawaiian shaved ice.

  • Limited Flavors

    Soft-serve ice cream is extremely bland when compared to Hawaiian shaved ice. The ice cream usually comes in one of two flavors (chocolate or vanilla) with maybe the option to swirl the two together.

  • Dietary Restrictions

    Many customers have dietary restrictions that cause them to pass on ice cream. Around 65% of people lose the ability to digest lactose upon reaching adulthood. Not all lactose intolerant customers will pass on ordering soft-serve, but when 65% of your customer base can be made sick by what you serve, sales are going to reflect that fact.

  • Health Concerns

    It’s not a new fact that ice cream is a treat to be enjoyed in moderation, but it is one that will continue to affect ice cream sales. Customers who are trying to stay fit for summer won’t be tempted to trade their bikini body for a cone of calories. Health-conscious customers will be interested in alternatives like Hawaiian shaved ice or smoothies.

  • Hard to Clean

    Soft-serve machines work by dispensing ice cream. This means when you clean your machine, you have the difficult task of making sure your machine won’t end up smelling like sour milk.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice

From a seller’s perspective, Hawaiian shaved ice is simply superior to soft-serve ice cream.

  • An Abundance of Flavors

    Unlike soft-serve, Hawaiian shaved ice is designed to promote customization and flavor combinations. Because the shaved ice starts off without a flavor, customers get to pick and choose what flavors they want to mix together.

    Instead of being locked into the chocolate, vanilla, or swirl, Hawaiian shaved ice can have many combinations with only a few syrups. Advertising your base flavors along with specialty creations like mixing pineapple and coconut syrup to create a pina colada shaved ice is a way to keep customers interested in the available variety.

  • Fewer Dietary Restrictions

    The two main ingredients of Hawaiian shaved ice are ice and syrup. This means there are fewer ingredients to consider when thinking about customers and their dietary restrictions.

    As the syrup is primarily made from sugar, customers who have to watch their sugar content may be wary about Hawaiian shaved ice. But, this same restriction would apply to soft-serve meaning that Hawaiian shaved ice can still be consumed by a larger percentage of customers.

  • A Little Goes A Long Way

    One of the reasons soft-serve is so unhealthy for you is because the product is dense with all the ingredients we’ve been taught to avoid. Sugar and cream are added in plentiful amounts to get the taste right.

    Hawaiian shaved ice avoids this issue as the largest part of the treat is made up of zero-calorie ice. Additionally, though syrup is high in sugar content, very little syrup is needed to flavor Hawaiian shaved ice. Hawaiian shaved ice continues to be light and refreshing without tricking you into eating more than you know.

  • Easy to Clean

    Hawaiian shaved ice machines only create the ice needed for the treat while the syrup is manually added to give flavor. This means when you clean your machine, you are only dealing with ice remnants or water and don’t have to worry about lingering odors.

    Hawaiian shaved ice is the superior choice when looking to break into selling frozen treats for a myriad of reasons. Check out our Hatsuyuki shaved ice machines to begin your shaved iced experience.