Media Release

Edy's Grand Ice Cream Chooses Penetron to Waterproof Production Facility Concrete Structures


The newly expanded Edy’s Grand Ice Cream production facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, began operations in March 2024. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, was specified to protect the plant’s below-grade concrete structures from high groundwater levels.

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Flavored ices and frozen desserts have been popular for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans harvested ice from mountaintops to mix with wine or honey to make sorbet. The Chinese made sherbet by covering containers with snow and saltpeter to freeze milk mixed with rice. But the treat remained scarce and difficult to make. In the USA, the invention of the hand-cranked ice cream maker by Nancy Johnson in 1843 suddenly made ice cream more accessible for American families. And in the 1920s, the introduction of home refrigerators gave ice cream consumption another boost.

In 1928, ice cream maker William Dreyer and candy maker Joseph Edy joined together to open an ice cream shop in Oakland, California, selling Dreyer's and EDY's branded ice cream, creating innovative flavors like Rocky Road, marketed as a culinary metaphor in 1929 to help people cope with the Great Depression. The company grew rapidly, soon becoming a national brand that used the Dreyer's name west of the Rockies and selling EDY'S ice cream in the Eastern USA.

Today, ice cream is big business. Dreyer’s-EDY is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and is part of Froneri, a global ice cream company with operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and the USA. After taking over Nestlé’s North America ice cream business, Froneri also produces Häagen-Dazs and Drumstick, as well as Dreyer’s and Edy’s, at its production facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“The $145 million expansion of Edy’s Grand Ice Cream facility in Indiana will add an additional ice cream production line to help meet growing demand across the USA,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group “Now completed, the Fort Wayne project allows the company to increase output for its popular Drumstick brand.”

Due to the groundwater levels at the construction site, Graber & Graber Contractors, the project’s general contractor, specified a concrete waterproofing solution for the elevator pits and other key below-grade concrete elements that are part of the Fort Wayne production facility expansion. Speedway Redi Mix, the ready-mix concrete supplier, added PENETRON ADMIX to the concrete mix.

Once added to the concrete mix, PENETRON ADMIX’s active ingredients react in a catalytic reaction to the moisture in concrete. This reaction generates a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. The entire concrete matrix is now impermeable, stopping the penetration of groundwater and moisture from any direction.

“PENETRON ADMIX also enables concrete to self-heal microcracks for the service life of the treated concrete structure,” adds Christopher Chen. “This effectively minimizes any future waterproofing related maintenance costs at the Fort Wayne facility.”