Every third Sunday of National Ice Cream Month (July) is National Sundae. To celebrate, Symrise Flavor North America took a virtual trek to some of the most unique ice cream shops across the United States. Our journey did not disappoint; we saw flavor innovation take the shape of our 2019 & 2020 North American Top Trends, ice cream concepts and innovation that brought to light the versatility of seasonality and a renewed sense of permissible indulgence and nostalgia during the uncertainty of COVID-19. Some of these creative ice cream ideas ship locally and nationally, so grab a spoon and get ready to experience the coolest trends in ice cream innovation.

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Our trek started at the famous Mashti Malone’s in Los Angeles, with saffron ice cream topped with rosewater flavored sorbet marbled with rice noodles – a nod to our 2019 trend, Global Horizons. Other flavors seen on the menu touch upon blossoms and taste travel such as Orange Blossom Pistachio, French Lavender and Persian Cucumber. This hidden strip mall spot is home to Chef Mashti Shirvani who has been serving Persian inspired flavors for 37 years. He has broken through to mainstream and now supplies 1,000 gallons of Persian ice cream every day.

Our next stop put a twist on an American classic, salted caramel, while capturing our 2019 Floral Explosion Trend with locally grown Salted Caramel Lavender. The second twist we saw at Fifty Licks in Portland was a savory meets sweet selection. As our recent article explains we have seen an expansion of savory flavors in ice cream as well an expansion of global flavors in ice cream, such as Soy Sauce Caramel scoop offered at Fifty Licks.

RELATED: Ice Cream Report of Spice and Savory Flavors on the Rise

The trek kept a savory focus at Higgles from Breckenridge, CO whose seasonal menu pulled out all the stops. Higgles’ flavors appropriately fit the occasion by balancing familiarity with novelty for a limited period of time, creating successful LTOs, that often sell out! Flavors offered were Blueberry Basil, Lime Buttermilk Raspberry Swirl and Colorado Honey with Raspberry Swirl all sourced from local farms and honey producers. Flavors are made in small batches and sell out quickly. At Symrise we studied seasonality and what makes the limited offer journey successful in our Seasonality Initiative.

Lick Honest Ice Creams in Austin, TX, in which the name says it all, features honest, natural, local ingredients; only the best for their seasonal line up. We saw Blueberry Crumble, Strawberry Jalapeno, Peach Leaf Swirl and new Elderberry Mojito. Elderberry Mojito features ingredients from Austin’s own Respect Your Elderberries, fresh local mint and Dulce Vida Blanco Tequila to create a smooth sweet take on the summertime cocktail.

Our final stop resembled Lick Honest Ice Creams in the sense of comfort and permissible indulgence in alcoholic ice creams. The STIL in Boise, Idaho is not only home to ice cream paired with beer flights but alcohol infused ice cream such as the “Ed & Carl Take Reno” Honey Bourbon flavor or the “Parachuting Beavers” flavor featuring a Peanut Butter Stout with Peanut Butter & Chocolate. As we spoke about in our Mainstream COVID-19 webinar consumers are looking to Relax to the Max with boozy infusions and permissible indulgences to help get through these unprecedented times. The STIL not only caters to the adventurous crowd looking for indulgent boozy treats but also features comforting nostalgic flavors like “Saturday Morning Cartoons” orange cream and fruity pebbles flavor or the “After School Special” peanut butter cookie infused flavor.

Our National Sundae does not have to stop here. For innovative ice cream ideas, information on seasonality within ice cream or a quick 3 page overview, please reach out to your Account Manager as we are always happy to help.

Pictures courtesy of Instagram: @mashtimalones, @fiftylicks and @lickicecreams.

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