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.