Summer is here and seemingly at its peak heat across the United States. At Symrise, we know the best way to beat the heat is to eat plenty of ice cream. Perfect timing too; did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? While ice cream is celebrated all month long (yearlong in our books), the official National Ice Cream Day is every third Sunday of July as declared by President Ronald Regan in 1984.

We took to the streets of New York City (NYC) to find the coolest ice cream trends for National Ice Cream Month.

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VIBRANT VISUALS

Without a doubt the instagramability of food is real, where ice cream presentation is just as important as taste! As a Symrise Top 11 Trend of North America (NA), Vibrant Visuals explores how chefs and mixologist are increasingly incorporating more sensory aspects to create an exciting, visually stimulating experience for diners.

We came across Ube so often that it might as well be the new cookies n’ cream. We stopped at New Territories, the Instagram mecca of Hong Kong “Bubble Cones”. We enjoyed one cone in particular; with Ube ice cream, condensed milk drizzle, colorful animal crackers and fruity pebbles dust, playfully known as U-BE TRIPPIN’.

THE FUTURE LOOKS SUPER

The Future Looks Super is another Symrise Top 11 Trend of NA where we notice consumers increasingly associating food and beverages with a functional boost. Think super spices, roots, nuts and beyond. Wait…a superfood ice cream? Yup, you heard correctly. On our excursion across NYC led us to a black sesame ice cream; delivering a micro-dose of calcium and magnesium with a nutty, slightly bitter taste.

Bive is an ice cream shop with a purpose. Here we witnessed the convergence of two of our 2019 trends: The Future Looks Super and Floral Explosion. We tried a passion fruit, collagen, amaranth, chia seed & coconut water sorbet. These ingredients fit perfectly into our super food focused trend where we see consumers turning to food and beverage for a functional boost whereas the floral flavor of amaranth compliments the health forward treat.

RELATED: The 8 Most Creative Ice Cream Shops in the World

COMFORTABLY YUM!

Ice cream is certainly a comfort food and comfort foods are not going anywhere any time soon. In the next few years, we anticipate seeing specialty breads and baked goods being used in comfort foods—which is exactly what we got with Ample Hills Creamery’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. This vanilla based ice cream contains cream cheese and house made gobs of St. Louis-style ooey gooey butter cake. This ice cream left us in pure bliss as we saw the fusion of two categories dairy and bakery turn out Ample Hills Creamery’s bestselling ice cream.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Culinary opposites and fusions are an everlasting trend in NA. In 2019, we focused on Hi Brow, Low Brow and Cheese Expands and without fail, both of these trends made an appearance when we were out exploring. We stopped at Sweet Gloria’s and tried its signature gold flake topping on a sea-salt-mascarpone and lychee-rose soft-serve swirl. Not only does this meet the Opposite Attract trend, but the Vibrant Visuals as well. “We consider every single ice cream as an art piece. That is why we do the gold flake,” said Charles Feng, partner at Sweet Gloria’s.

Our second encounter with Opposites Attract comes in the form of Cheese Expands, a trend where cheese is used in different categories. Our stop at Ice & Vice hit this trend perfectly as we tried a peach and cheddar crisp frozen yogurt. This peach base had frozen crunch bits of cheddar cheese giving the sweet peach a perfect balance of sharp salty cheddar.

As you can see we discovered quite a few trendy ice creams on National Ice Cream Day. We are happy to bring these trends to you and would love to dive deeper into each trend to explore how they may impact your brands. For now, we encourage you to get out and explore your local ice cream shops for flavors that push the boundaries in both creative and delicious ways!

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Header image courtesy of Ice & Vice.

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