Product Focus: Ice Cream Flavor Trends

Ice cream, the sweet and cold treat, appears to be getting a makeover, with manufacturers putting a creative spin on their freezer products.

Top 10 Ice Cream FlavorsWhile vanilla continues to reign supreme as America’s favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate flavors dominate the next four top-selling ice cream flavors, according to a survey of U.S. ice cream makers and retailers conducted by the International Dairy Foods Assn. (IDFA). The top-five flavors -- vanilla, chocolate, cookies ’n’ cream, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough — may be classics, but that does not mean they have not evolved over time.

Today’s innovative ice cream makers are giving many of these traditional flavors creative spins to differentiate in the freezer. This includes offering them in high-protein/low-sugar formulations or blended with other favorites.

Ben & Jerry’s, for example, the brand that created the first cookie dough ice cream back in 1984, now offers three new dough-riginal flavors. Off The Dough Block! is chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate chip cookies. P.B. Dough-ble Chocolate is dark and milk chocolate ice creams with peanut butter cookie dough and swirls of peanut butter cookie butter. Cinn-Dough-rella! is cinnamon and caramel ice cream with cinnamon bun dough, shortbread cookies and oatmeal cinnamon cookie swirls.

At IDFA’s annual Ice Cream Technology conference held in April, several fun and fruity flavors of ice cream -- either newly introduced or yet to be released -- captured the attention of judges at the event’s annual flavor competition. Winning flavor innovations included Brazilian guava cheesecake, spicy mango raspberry and pomegranate sweet potato.

“Fruit was the name of the game in this year’s innovative ice cream flavor competition. Contestants showed off their expert ability to pair fresh, tropical fruits with almost anything, including spices, vegetables and decadent deserts. Ice creams featuring cookie doughs and butters, as well as salty nuts, were also highly favored flavors in this year’s lineup,” said Cary Frye, senior vice president of regulatory affairs, International Dairy Foods Assn.

Products to Watch

Double Delicious with Breyers 2in1
Why choose just one ice cream favorite when you can have two? That’s the thinking behind Unilever’s Breyers 2in1. New Oreo Chips Ahoy! is vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookies swirled with caramel ice cream and Chips Ahoy! cookies. Reese’s Reese’s Pieces is peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter cups swirled with chocolate ice cream and Reese’s Pieces. Snickers M&M’s is caramel ice cream with Snickers and chocolate ice cream with mini M&M’s. Heath Waffle Cone is vanilla ice cream with Heath toffee pieces and chocolate ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces.

A Trio Treat from Turkey Hill Dairy
Turkey Hill Dairy takes the classic triple treat known as Neapolitan to new levels with five varieties of Trio’politan. Chocolate Raspberry Bliss is vanilla, chocolate and raspberry ice creams with chocolate chips. American Dream is blueberry ice cream, vanilla with strawberry swirl, and strawberry with chocolate chips. Coco Loco is caramel ice cream, coconut with toasted coconut swirl and chocolate ice cream. Mint Cookie is vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookie swirl, dark chocolate ice cream and mint ice cream with chocolate cookie pieces. Triple Chocolate is milk chocolate ice cream with fudge swirl, dark chocolate ice cream and chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips.

Powerful Ice Cream From Nestle
Nestle Ice Cream now offer three superhero-branded light ice creams under both the Dreyer’s and Edy’s brands. In efforts to get mom’s stamp of approval, the ice creams are free from artificial colors and flavors. The three varieties are Batman’s Dark Knight Brownie Bite (chocolate ice cream with bat-shaped chocolatey pieces, brownie chunks and fudge swirl), Superman’s Krypton Cookie Dough (cookie dough ice cream with red and gold cookie dough pieces and blue sprinkles) and Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso (vanilla and caramel swirled ice cream with star-shaped caramel chips and graham cracker variegate).

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