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8 Irresistible Ice Cream Trends to Watch in 2023

16 August 2023

There are few products as universally adored as ice cream. It’s the dessert of choice for many consumers regardless of age, location, and nationality. Cooling off from a hot summer’s day with a dripping cone of ice cream is a quintessential experience for people across the world.

Everyone knows the classic ice cream flavours: vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, etc. However, the indulgence doesn’t stop there. New and exciting flavours are constantly popping up and intriguing adventurous ice cream lovers.

In 2023, food manufacturing companies are stretching their creative muscles to come up with exciting new flavour experiences and best-selling products. We’ll cover the top flavour trends in this article and other irresistible developments.

1. Plant-based ice cream

The plant-based boom is continuing to transform the food industry. There is now mainstream appeal for dairy-free desserts, with more than 10% of households purchasing plant-based ice cream in 2022 (according to Plant Based Foods Association). This is spurring innovation across the alternative ice cream sector.

If consumers wanted dairy-free ice cream previously, their options were extremely limited and mostly restricted to types of sorbet. Although delicious, sorbet rarely provides the same creaminess and decadence as the high-fat ice cream made from cow’s milk.

Fast forward to 2023, and food manufacturers are now producing rich, creamy, and undeniably delicious dairy-free ice cream products in various flavours. Vegan versions of classic flavours are appearing throughout the ice cream aisle and creative new varieties.

The most common replacements for dairy bases are soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and oat milk. Using a dairy alternative milk with a higher fat content helps create the velvety sensation that ice cream is known for.

2. Other lifestyle-specific options

The plant-based movement is not the only lifestyle demographic that food manufacturers must consider in 2023. Gluten-free, keto, sugar-free, and alcohol-free ice creams are also increasing in demand. According to the Business Research Company, the global gluten-free market size is expected to grow to more than $7 billion this year.

Additionally, low-calorie ice creams still have a foothold in the market amongst health-conscious consumers or those looking to lose weight. Some companies are opting to include the calorie count and other nutritional information on the front of the package in easy-to-read print.

Diversifying your product line to appeal to these other groups is a great way to increase your market share and attract new customers.

3. Unconventional flavours

These days, people are feeling adventurous with their ice cream choices. Promising unique (and delicious) flavour experiences can catch the attention of consumers who are looking to try something new. Unconventional flavours, collaborations, mash-ups, and completely original creations are enticing curious ice cream lovers across Canada and the United States.

Many food manufacturers are experimenting with savoury flavours, saltiness, and daring fruit combinations this year. These exciting twists can help your company stand out on the grocery store shelves. For example, consider salty pretzels, potato chips, bagels, or yuzu and lemon-flavoured products.

4. Healthy additions

In 2023, maintaining good health is a significant motivator for consumers. They want to indulge in their favourite sweet treats, but they don’t want to compromise their well-being in the process. Fortunately, no rule states that ice cream has to be free of health benefits.

Food manufacturing companies, like Hela Spice, are innovating with functional food in the dessert world. These products contain functional ingredients with impressive health benefits, so consumers can feel good about their health while enjoying their ice cream.

Probiotic ice cream is one of the most exciting functional dessert foods appearing on the market. The consumption of probiotics is linked to better digestive health and other benefits. Most probiotic ice cream is made using kefir yogurt, which is a kind of fermented milk.

However, probiotics are not the only functional ingredient. Protein, fibre, and CBD are other examples.

5. Going nuts

Nutty ice creams are another irresistible variety that enchants the taste buds of consumers.

In 2023, ice cream companies are getting creative and introducing new versions of indulgent nut desserts. Still, these latest innovations are a safe bet because consumers are already used to enjoying nuts with their ice cream treats. Nuts are well-known and loved in the world of ice cream!

There are ample ways to incorporate some nuttiness into your new ice cream flavour. For example, create a delectably crunchy coating using nut pastes and chocolate. Alternatively, infuse nutty flavours like pistachio and pecan into the ice cream itself. Crunchy brittles are also a fantastic way to add some crunch to ice cream pints.

6. Reimagined ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches are a convenient and delicious way for consumers to satisfy their sweet tooth. This year, ice cream sandwiches are being reimagined by food manufacturers.

Flavour creativity in 2023 is not limited to ice cream pints or bars. Consumers are still interested in trying something new with their ice cream choices, no matter how it is delivered. Experimenting with new flavours and daring combinations can be enough to persuade customers to pick up a box of ice cream sandwiches.

7. Bakery inspired

Cross-category innovation is a major industry trend this year. For instance, bakery flavours are being brought into the world of ice cream. Birthday cake is a classic example of a bakery-inspired ice cream flavour. However, new innovations are popping up across grocery store shelves.

Looking at the world of baked goods and traditionally baked desserts can be an easy way to find inspiration for new flavours. Plus, incorporating well-known flavours is a good strategy for attracting customers who want something new but not too out of the box.

8. Ice cream snacks

In 2023, people are snacking more than ever before. The Institute of Food Technology reported that snack sales are up 11.7% from last year, so it makes sense for ice cream companies to get on board with this trend.

Ice cream bars (mini or full size) are a tried and true dessert snack that are beloved by consumers. However, handheld ice cream snacks are more than just bars. Ongoing innovations are making it easier than ever to snack on ice cream.

This is an exciting new area of the ice cream industry with plenty of opportunity for experimentation and innovation. We recommend exploring new ways to make ice cream more portable and snackable than ever.

Ice Cream Innovations From Food Manufacturing Companies in 2023

Ice cream is a classic and beloved dessert and is also at the centre of innovation. Food manufacturers, like Hela Spice, are experimenting with irresistible new flavours and products to entice ice cream-loving consumers. Our team of food industry experts will help create your next best-selling ice cream product.

To learn more about food product development at Hela Spice, visit us at www.helaspice.com or contact us here.

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