It’s hard to overstate the appeal of ice cream. The combination of sugar and fat in a creamy, ice-cold treat, with so many options for delectable flavor profiles, makes ice cream pretty much the perfect dessert. Even those who are lactose intolerant are on board with dairy-free alternatives.
It’s not just a warm weather dessert, although it’s incredibly refreshing when temperatures rise to triple digits. Ice cream is always a good idea, and there’s a year-round market for the stuff.
While classics like chocolate and vanilla are hard to beat, there is always demand for additions ranging from nuts and nut butters to fruit of every stripe to caramel, fudge, and endless confections. Perhaps this is why there’s never a shortage of new ice cream trends to sample.
If you want to participate in the latest trends and innovations dominating the world of frozen treats, here are a few tantalizing options that consumers are currently crushing on.
Plant-Based Ice Cream Alternatives
Vegetarian and vegan options are sweeping the food industry. In fact, a recent report from the Plant Based Food Association (PBFA) puts the number of restaurants now offering plant-based alternatives at nearly 50%, and the dessert market is not unaffected.
Dairy-free milk bases top the list, with options for coconut, soy, almond, rice, and others filling in for cow’s milk. Lesser known, but on the rise, are ingredient lists that include avocado, pea protein, and aqua faba, just for example.
Some amount of creativity is required to create products that have similar flavors and textures, but several brands like Coconut Bliss, So Delicious, and even big names like Breyer’s and Ben & Jerry’s are knocking it out of the park.
Ice Cream in a Nutshell
Adding nuts and nut butters to ice cream is a time-honored tradition, but what about adding them to the shell of an ice cream bar? The latest trend in chocolatey shells is the addition of nut pastes, from almond and hazelnut to macadamia, pistachio, and pecan.
In some cases, nut paste is mixed with white chocolate to create a sweet and nutty flavor profile. However, some brands go the extra mile with a crunchy, brittle-like shell containing nut chunks.
New Formats: Gimmick or Gastronomical Gold?
Cones, bars, and sandwiches remain popular ways to enjoy ice cream outside the bowl, but unsurprisingly, manufacturers are always on the lookout for new formats. Rolled ice cream, for example, has been gaining momentum. Originating in Thailand, this inventive treat is sometimes referred to as stir-fried ice cream.
It’s made by pouring liquid ice cream base onto a tray in a thin sheet, freezing it, and then scraping it off the pan in long, thin sheets that curl up as you go. Curls are then positioned upright in cups, with toppings added at the end.
Color-changing and glow-in-the-dark treats have also popped up across the globe over the last few years, but these seem like gimmicks that likely lack true staying power.
Ice Cream Offers Endless Possibilities
For restaurants and manufacturers alike, there’s no one way to approach the ice cream market. Classics will always tempt nostalgic or unadventurous diners, but there’s plenty of room to grow and experiment.
For more statistics on the industry and current market insights, or for information on our products at Symrise, get in touch with our team today.