Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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June 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 147 Refrigerated & Frozen Frozen Desserts W hat do consumers want in a frozen dessert? Tey want something decadent, yet good for them. Tey want some- thing new, but that reminds them of the past. Tey want complex favors, but simple ingredients. At least that's one way to sum up the trends that ice cream manufacturers are chasing and the paths down which they're leading their retailer partners. "Small-batch and craft ice creams are driving inno- vation in the category. In addition, as we see a return to full-fat products, there is a market for ultra-indul- gent varieties," says Julie Henderson, VP of communi- cations for the Harrisburg, Pa.-based National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). More indulgent categories are defnitely "getting more traction," concurs Lisa Hutchinson, frozen product manager for Turkey Hill Dairy, in Lan- caster County, Pa. "Yesterday's 'healthy alternatives,' like light ice cream and frozen yogurt, are in a Cold-fashioned Consumers look for indulgence, nostalgia and simplicity in their ice cream. By Jim Dudlicek downward spiral, giving way to a new def- nition of healthy alternative, including the dairy alternative category and more natural and simple ice creams." Consumer demand for transparency continues to be a leading trend in frozen desserts, according to Steve Pratt, VP of category and shopper development at Oakland, Calif.-based Nestlé Dreyer's Ice Cream. "A component of this trend is the move to simpler ingredients that consum- ers can recognize. Across superpremium and premium ice cream, and other frozen snacks, consumers want to understand the ingredients on the label," Pratt says. Te folks at Unilever Ice Cream, in Englewood Clifs, N.J., also see a demand for indulgent items, along with more por- tion-controlled and sugar-free oferings, prompting releases like snack cups and sugar-free Popsicles, notes Nick Soukas, Unilever's director of ice cream. Nostalgia continues to be a trend for 2016, Soukas observes. "Reminiscing about childhood and memorable moments are two reasons consumers enjoy ice cream. Tis year, we've reimagined classic favors and pairings that cultivate great memories, like birthday cake, s'mores, and chocolate and peanut butter, to surprise and delight our ice cream fans," he says. Kevin Riveroll, VP of sales and marketing at Boston-based Ciao Bella, notes that consumers "are looking for non-GMO Project Verifed oferings and cleaner ingredients, especially as [they] are becoming more knowledgeable about ingredients, reading ingredient labels and the efect of such ingredients on one's health over a period of time." Ice Cream Opportunities June 20: National Ice Cream Soda Day July 4: Independence Day July 7: National Strawberry Sundae Day July 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day July 23: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day July 30: National Cheesecake Day

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