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Rollout Focus: New Ice Cream & Novelties Products

June 1, 2023
We take a deep dive into these categories, where consumers are splurging on higher-priced, premium frozen treats.

Ice cream is on fire. It is trending as a go-to snack that provides permission to indulge, according to numerous trend presentations made at Sweets & Snacks Expo held in May. While unit sales are down, dollar sales are up, which makes sense during these inflationary times. But the growth in dollar sales is not only about higher shelf tags, it’s also about consumers splurging on pricier, premium ice cream.

A new report from Market Research Future projects the artisanal ice cream market will grow 4.2% annually from now until 2030, when it will be worth $95.8 billion. The research highlights how consumers’ tastes have evolved and they’re seeking out premium goods with natural ingredients, such as small-batch ice creams made conventionally with local ingredients.

The report states that even though these types of products are often more expensive than regular ice creams, consumers have shown they will pay more for the high quality and flavor that come with artisanal options. The report defines artisanal ice creams as those that are produced by hand using age-old techniques, with premium ingredients such as cream, milk, sugar, fruits, nuts and spices. Additionally, it references the lack of artificial preservatives, flavors and colors as appealing to consumers.

When it comes to flavor trends in the U.S., chocolate is the leader, according to the International Dairy Foods Assn. It’s followed by cookies ’n cream, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate chip, cookie dough, butter pecan, French vanilla, chocolate chip cookie dough, and caramel/salted caramel. But it’s the limited-time offerings — often seasonal flavors or bizarre mashups — that keep Americans scooping up this frozen treat.

“America’s love for ice cream knows no bounds. Comforting and satisfying as an indulgent treat, ice cream production and consumption grew throughout the Covid pandemic and sales continue to set a blazing pace at grocery, scoop shops and corner stores."

- Michael Dykes, president and CEO, International Dairy Foods Assn.

Some recent products in this category

The newest pint in the freezer is just for ice cream sandwich lovers, according to Ben & Jerry’s, which just rolled out limited-batch Ice Cream Sammie. It’s a vanilla ice cream base with chocolate sandwich cookies and chocolate cookie swirls. Other new flavors from the brand include Bossin’ Cream Pie Topped, which is vanilla custard ice cream with yellow cake pieces and pastry cream swirls topped with milk chocolatey ganache, and Mousse Pie, which is milk chocolate ice cream and swirls of chocolate mousse and chocolate cookies.
Two iconic Texas brands, Blue Bell and Dr Pepper, a brand of Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., have joined to create one delicious ice cream, Dr Pepper Float. It will be available in pint and half-gallon sizes through 2024 in the 23 states where Blue Bell frozen desserts are available. The flavor features creamy vanilla ice cream swirled together with a Dr Pepper-flavored sherbet. The texture of the sherbet — designed to simulate Dr Pepper’s carbonation — sends consumers go back in time to enjoy this popular southern soda fountain drink.
Keto ice creams attract not only those following this popular high-fat, super-low sugar diet, but also consumers who want indulgence without the carbohydrates. This is fueling continued innovation from Keto Foods. The company’s newest ice cream bar flavor is Sea Salt Caramel Crunch, which comes in four packs and sells for $9.99. All Keto Foods products have zero added sugars and no artificial sweeteners. They are gluten-free and with real ingredients from local farms.

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