‘Free-from’ ice cream trending
Ice cream is getting healthier without losing its appeal as a “treat.” Food industry marketers are astutely churning out a variety of healthier and still decadent frozen treats to please modern American consumers, according to “Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S., 9th Edition” from market research firm Packaged Facts.
“Ice cream and frozen novelties remain among the top 10 food categories in supermarkets. More than 85 percent of U.S. households use ice cream or sherbet,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “And despite the maturity of the ice cream market, a lot is happening in terms of new product trends and corporate development.”
In the current market, ice creams and frozen desserts have added more items to the list of food components from which they are free. These include soy; gluten; artificial colors, flavors and preservatives; and genetically modified ingredients. These products are also organic.
According to Packaged Facts, new free-from introductions will help the market overcome some of the lukewarm sales growth of recent years. Packaged Facts estimates that in 2016 the market for all ice cream and frozen dessert sales, including packaged ice cream and frozen novelties sold through retail channels and ice cream purchased at foodservice outlets, was just shy of $28 billion. Foodservice sales outpaced the retail channel by slightly more than $3 billion. Both segments are expected to see gains looking ahead to 2020.