Home » Ice Cream Trends for Retailers: Plant-Based Growth and Flavor Innovation

Ice Cream Trends for Retailers: Plant-Based Growth and Flavor Innovation

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Ice cream sales are on the rise, with plant-based alternatives and exciting flavor innovations leading the way. Retailers should focus on offering diverse options, balancing health benefits with indulgence, and tapping into the plant-based ice cream market’s untapped potential. Ingredient innovation, authentic flavors, and clean-label ingredients are essential to capturing consumers’ attention and loyalty.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, the ice cream category is set to bounce back to pre-pandemic volume levels in 2023. The frozen dessert aisle is witnessing exciting trends, especially in terms of plant-based alternatives and flavor innovation, that retailers should be on the lookout for, as reported by Dairy Reporter.

Health-conscious consumers continue to influence buying habits, but they still seek a full sensory and flavor experience from indulgent treats like ice cream. To win over shoppers who want to enjoy guilt-free indulgence, retailers must focus on getting every aspect of ice cream right, from sweetness profile to texture.

Flavor innovation has become a driving force behind ice cream popularity. Younger generations are seeking adventurous combinations, like salted caramel with chocolate or rosemary, to explore new and exciting taste experiences. At the same time, classic favorites and nostalgia-inducing flavors like strawberry are equally attractive to consumers.

Retailers should consider offering artisanal and small-batch ice creams with unique and inventive flavor combinations. Exotic fruit blends, inclusions like bubble pearls, and the incorporation of cookies, cereals, and dessert-inspired elements provide a truly indulgent and satisfying sensory experience.

While indulgence remains essential, health-focused consumers are open to healthier ice cream options. Manufacturers can create low-sugar or better-for-you ice cream formulations without compromising taste and texture. The use of high-quality ingredients and innovative technologies can deliver delicious and satisfying products.

Plant-based ice cream presents an untapped opportunity for retailers. This sub-category has witnessed significant growth, offering consumers a ‘health halo’ associated with plant-based products. Manufacturers can explore clean-label and nutritious ingredients to enhance the appeal of plant-based ice creams. However, taste and texture improvements are crucial for success in this category.

Incorporating a wide range of plant-based alternatives such as coconut milk, oat milk, cashew milk, and pea protein can create creamier textures that rival traditional dairy ice cream. Retailers can also offer unique and indulgent flavors in dairy-free options, catering to a diverse range of consumer preferences.

As ice cream sales rebound, retailers should focus on ingredient innovation, authentic flavors, and clean-label ingredients to capture consumers’ attention and loyalty. By embracing plant-based growth and staying ahead of flavor trends, retailers can position themselves to thrive in the competitive ice cream market.

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