Kaitlin Kamp is a Client Insights Analyst on the Meals and Drink Stories workforce at Mintel. Kaitlin covers a broad number of packaged foods and drinks classes with an emphasis on indulgence.
A rise in consuming and treating at dwelling boosted the ice cream and frozen novelty market in 2020. The class is anticipated to carry onto a big share of development, on account of ample innovation from class gamers, however manufacturers will nonetheless face challenges – specifically financial uncertainty and a post-pandemic return to wellness. Reasonably priced packaged options to foodservice choices can attraction to the cost-conscious, whereas a concentrate on health-focused components and performance can grant permissibility.
Economical codecs and foodservice dupes can serve cost-conscious customers
Ice cream might not be a luxurious merchandise however those that are financially struggling are pulling again from the class. Within the brief time period, whereas unemployment stays excessive and shopper confidence stays low, manufacturers might want to prioritize worth. Bigger, economical codecs can converse to cost-savings and frozen treats that may mimic widespread foodservice objects like sundaes, however at a decrease price, can present inexpensive options to eating out.
Present permissibility on each a bodily and emotional degree
Customers are hoping to take a step again from indulgent meals post-pandemic to concentrate on their well being. To maintain frozen treats of their repertoires, manufacturers can present permissibility via dietary enhancements, comparable to no added sugar formulations or added protein, or easy ingredient lists. Emotional performance also can converse to wellness, by displaying customers how frozen treats can help of their psychological and emotional wellbeing. In keeping with Mintel research on ice cream and frozen novelties, greater than two in 5 of these buying frozen treats extra usually than final yr are doing so for consolation and a 3rd are shopping for for stress reduction.
Innovation and BFY positioning can gas dairy options
The non-dairy frozen deal with area is getting more and more crowded and has the potential to be a fueling drive of the class, because of its sturdy perceptions with well being. Customers are much less occupied with conventional dairy options like soy milk than newer, trendier choices like oat and cashew milk, indicating that customers are excited for the subsequent massive factor. Gamers will wish to regulate rising developments within the milk area, like macadamia milk and nutrient-dense ubermilk, for inspiration.
Remodel ice cream into a completely loaded dessert for worth, pleasure
Mimicking foodservice-inspired desserts by incorporating mix-ins and toppings into frozen treats is a chance to strengthen retail worth propositions. Worth will likely be essential over the subsequent yr as customers proceed to navigate financial uncertainty, particularly contemplating that customers who establish as financially struggling are extra possible than common to be lowering frozen deal with purchases.
Gelato model Talenti affords a line of dessert-inspired merchandise named Gelato Layers, which function layers of gelato and varied mix-ins, together with frosting and cookies. Unilever-owned frozen deal with model Ben & Jerry’s launched its Topped product line in 2021, which it calls “an ice cream sundae in a pint,” by together with a layer of chocolate on high of the ice cream. Frozen deal with powerhouse Blue Bunny affords a line of Load’d Sundaes that present one thing comparable, a complete sundae in a single container.
Ease sugar considerations with pure, recognizable sweeteners
Sugar stays public enemy primary, with more than half of US adults wanting to cut back on sugar. Whereas it will likely be essential that manufacturers not lose associations with indulgence and luxury, sugar enhancements can present much-needed permissibility as customers purpose to eat fewer indulgent meals. Greater than a 3rd of US adults could be motivated to strive a brand new frozen deal with if it featured pure sweeteners like honey or maple.
In keeping with Mintel research on sugars and alternative sweeteners, customers understand sweeteners like honey, uncooked cane sugar and dried fruit as extra pure and extra acceptable in meals than others like refined white sugar or zero-calorie sweeteners. Plant-derived sweeteners additionally scored effectively in being seen as pure and acquired low perceptions of being unhealthy for you.
Some frozen deal with manufacturers are already making progress in each pure sugar options and no added sugar formulations. Lactose-free dairy model Fairlife contains cane sugar and plant-derived monk fruit in its merchandise. Non-dairy frozen deal with model NadaMoo! includes a product line of no-added-sugar merchandise and makes use of pure sweeteners, together with agave and molasses. Each keto-friendly frozen deal with manufacturers Killer Creamery and Insurgent promote no added sugar and embrace plant-derived sweeteners like monk fruit.
Sustaining the non-dairy momentum with next-wave innovation
Non-dairy frozen treats have momentum and the potential to be a long-term driving drive within the class. A big share of customers has tried or are occupied with making an attempt non-dairy components in frozen treats and the phase is changing into fiercely aggressive, with dairy-free claims rising 8.8% from 2019-20. The comparatively low curiosity in soy milk as an ice cream ingredient, in distinction with a robust curiosity in newer choices, comparable to oat milk, cashew milk and sunflower butter, suggests that customers might be fickle of their seek for the subsequent massive factor. Non-dairy frozen treats even have a well being halo to make the most of and enhance shifting ahead. More than half of frozen treat buyers expect non-dairy frozen treats to be healthier than dairy ones and two in five agree that non-dairy treats are too processed.
Whereas indulgent non-dairy choices can cater to customers with dairy allergic reactions who merely wish to indulge with out threat, non-dairy manufacturers will likely be challenged to proceed innovating with components and produce well being to the forefront for individuals who hunt down non-dairy choices as a result of they understand them as more healthy.
Milk developments can encourage new formulations, with components like macadamia nuts and sesame seeds and nutrient-rich, excessive protein formulations rising. Clear dietary advantages and easy ingredient lists will likely be essential to assembly customers’ expectations.
What we predict
At-home consolation consuming drove ice cream and frozen novelty beneficial properties in 2020 as customers hunt down methods to deal with themselves from the protection of their properties. However as customers slowly emerge from the pandemic in 2021 with renewed well being objectives and monetary considerations in thoughts, frozen deal with manufacturers might want to converse to indulgences in another way – prioritizing worth the place doable and investing in better-for-you (BFY) enhancements to maintain health-conscious customers from chopping ties to the class.
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