Ice cream innovations continue to please consumers’ discerning palates

By Keera Perumbala

Dessert trends come and go, but one product never leaves consumer’s hearts — ice cream. Ice cream is the very definition of a timeless classic, enjoyed by all ages, thanks to the ability to create different flavors and then spice things up even more with add-ins and blends.

Premium ice cream is not new to the market, but new flavors continue to spur expansion in that arena. What’s more, plant-based ice creams are skyrocketing in popularity, catching up with their dairy-based counterparts in consumer awareness and market share. They offer a “better for you” vibe that is as appealing to purchasers as the “indulgence” factor of traditional, dairy-based ice cream.

Taste and texture are the twin pillars of ice cream enjoyment. For instance, the coveted Millennial and younger demographics say when they look for ice cream products, they look for words like, chunky, crunchy, crispy, ooey-gooey etc. that tell their imaginations what to look forward to.

Why? They want to engage their imaginations along with their other senses and have a fun, interactive, Instagrammable experience.

As Macro and micro trends inform product development in the ice-cream space, Sensient Flavors has the experience and expertise to track and maximize value from these consumer trends. Our formulators have focused on the following areas when crafting new inclusions and combinations:

  • Sophistication
  • Premiumization
  • Regional Influence
  • Boozy/Just for Adults
  • Comfort & Nostalgia
  • Health & Wellness
  • Authenticity

All these elements come together in some major trend areas, all of which will be important to analyze and implement in current and new-product development. For instance, the flavor delivery goals around ice-cream products should be,

  • Unique & Fun: Grab consumers’ attention with fun flavors and concepts. Ice cream can be an experiment as well as an experience.
  • Artisanal Authenticity: A flavor or ingredient must have depth, richness — and a backstory.
  • Adult Indulgence: Mature palates want a sense of relaxation and luxury.

At the same time, Sensient knows that consumers place a high value on clean-label products. They want transparency and the ability to identify ingredient sources. Sensient has the grower network and farm-to-table supply chain to meet these demands in their flavors, as well.

Ice cream is a workhorse in the dessert industry, and a heightened demand for new tastes and experiences means consumers want it to do more than ever. Are your products up to the challenge? Let our team work with you to create today’s favorites and tomorrow’s must-have ice-cream indulgences.