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A hand holds a squeeze bag of brown and white soft serve while in a car at daytime.
The soft serve pack from CVT.
Farley Elliott

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LA’s Food Item of the Year Is This Ready-to-Eat Soft Serve in a Bag

The CVT Truck’s soft serve pouches keep selling out at local grocery stores

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Longtime LA ice cream truck CVT Soft Serve has bagged its first retail food product, selling ready-to-squeeze vanilla and chocolate soft serve from adult-sized pouches found in select grocery stores like Bristol Farms and Gelson’s. And like any good drop, the exclusivity of the product has led some stores to run out of the packets over and over again.

Los Angeles is no stranger to restaurant merch. There are hats galore — including the famous Uncle Paulie’s cap and the Free & Easy Don’t Trip collab with Goldburger — plus shirts, hoodies, jackets, and aprons featuring LA restaurants, all available for purchase at some of the city’s biggest dining hotspots. But this summer, the best piece of kit isn’t coming from the Hundreds — it’s coming from the freezer aisle with this ready-to-eat soft serve.

It’s not hard to see why. The frozen treats are meant to be held directly in the hand, nearly impossible for soft serve that isn’t pulled right out of the machine. There are other frozen aisle treats like drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches; there is only one soft serve squeeze pack. It’s the kind of simple and ingenious idea that makes people millions, though to hear owner Joe Nicchi talk about it on Instagram, the most important first step is putting it in the hands of kids, parents, and anyone else as fast as possible, and at whatever cost.

Having scooped up a few of the remaining packets at a local grocery store, the appeal is obvious. Half a pouch was downed before the car even pulled back into the driveway, and there are worlds where these CVT2Go pouches make their way into lunch boxes, beach totes, hiking backpacks, or sunset picnic boxes at the Hollywood Bowl. The ice cream softens quickly once pulled out of the cooler, while maintaining its velvety texture — and there’s almost no way it will last long enough to turn into sweet water.

Tacos 1986 is already selling them, but eventually, these branded squeezers will be commonplace at baseball games, concert venues, beach bars, and just about everywhere else in LA. As it turns out, this summer’s must-have accessory is ice cream in a bag. Want it yourself? Try Tacos 1986 in Studio City for starters, or your local Gelson’s or Bristol Farms.

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