Trend Spotlight: Ice Cream
Ice cream has always been a consumer favorite, with 25% of US consumers naming it as their favorite dessert, on average consuming 23 pounds of it per year. An $11 billion industry and still consistently growing, ice cream presents a huge opportunity to manufacturers looking to tap into consumers’ sweet teeth while also offering them something that deviates from staple flavors and ingredients. Join us as we at Advanced Biotech explore some of the innovative trends that are sure to capture the attention of consumers this coming summer season.
Once made solely with the lactose intolerant in mind, non-dairy ice cream is now widely available in many iterations for consumers with all types of special diets. Ice creams made with dairy alternatives like almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and even oat milk are popular choices for health-minded, environmentally-conscious, and vegan consumers. Fruit-based sorbets in vibrant, natural flavors like tropical mango, tart raspberry, and even cold brew coffee are also popular choices for those consumers with special dietary needs or who are looking for a lighter alternative to traditional frozen indulgences.
Functional ingredients are a trend that is sweeping every industry as of late, and ice cream is no exception. Enhanced with natural goodness like manuka honey, super fruits like acai and blueberry, or fortified with nutritional components like antioxidants, probiotics, protein, and fiber, health-conscious consumers do not shy away from pairing indulgence with wellness. CBD is also a popular addition to many ice creams, boasting benefits like pain relief, anxiety reduction, and treating an array of chronic illnesses and disorders. Adaptogens like turmeric, ginger, and even mushrooms have also been on-trend, adding a boost of immunity and natural stress alleviation to everyone’s favorite frozen treat.
Over-indulgent, overly sweet desserts are quickly becoming a thing of the past as mature consumers are shifting their focus to favor more complex, understated flavors. Common in smaller, artisan brands these ingredients are often labeled as “small batch” and “premium” and offer consumers more sophisticated and nuanced flavor options than the traditional chocolate and strawberry. Ingredients like matcha, tea, alcohol, and spices are trending among older consumers and those interested in supporting smaller, local brands.
As the ice cream industry continues to grow, consumers’ tastes also grow more complex as they continue to search for flavors and brands that fit their new preferences.