How Real Cream Can Skyrocket Flagging Ice Cream Sales

Sooner rather than later, more consumers will begin to demand the substitution of healthier ingredients without the sacrifice of taste, texture, and price. As healthier ingredients become better known and more desirable to the average consumer, any notion ice cream manufacturers have of regaining sales numbers means they will be obliged to acquiesce to the plea.

In the past, healthier ice cream has been associated with “less taste,” because it has been less tasty. Earlier low-fat options removed the cream, using non-fat milk, resulting in “ice milk.”  Without ice cream’s characteristic “creaminess”, it resulted in a less palatable concoction.

The Problem

Prominent experts such as health researcher, Joanne K. Tobacman, M.D. and health guru, Dr. Andrew Weil, are speaking out against carrageenan, a very common ice cream additive, as causing inflammation in the body. Recent scientific research has resulted in the knowledge that chronic inflammation is bad news for health, and the root cause of many catastrophic diseases. This will spell problems for the ice cream industry once the understanding of the carrageenan/inflammation connection becomes well known. The problem is that the carrageenan gives ice cream its characteristic fatty, creamy “mouthfeel” which consumers are loathe to give up.

The two primary demographics for ice cream eaters, children and seniors, are the ones who will be most impacted by this news. Health-savvy moms will find other treats for their children if the carrageenan is not replaced. Seniors will just stop eating ice cream or eat much less of it once they realize what’s causing their GI tract reactions. Carrageenan might be tough to convince manufacturers to replace, but if they have a desire to keep up with the times, it actually gives them a better opportunity.

Carrageenan may have been used because it was cheaper at one time than using real fat, and of course, there was the low-fat trend when medical science blamed fat for cholesterol and weight problems. However, the right fats are becoming recognized as beneficial, and people are realizing that eating fat creates greater satiety.

A Savvy Solution

Instead of finding a different additive, consider bringing back rich, real cream to replace the carrageenan. Tout it as a return to the good old-fashioned version of ice cream. Show the consumer that the new ice cream is much more pure and satisfying. Use milk from cows that are not full of BGH and antibiotics. For an upscale, pricier version, use only milk from grass-fed cows. For advertising purposes, partner with the dairies from which this milk is purchased, restoring ice cream’s popularity and assuring high visibility for both the ice cream and the dairy. Use the dairy’s logo on the front of your printed container. Then when savvy Mom’s and seniors as well as health-conscious middlers look at your carton, they will immediately know that you use milk from that dairy which is recognized as more healthful.

Ice cream innovators, manufacturers, and food scientists must put their heads together to figure out a healthier ingredient that imparts the same creamy, smooth quality to the ice cream without contributing to inflammation. 

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