The Ice Cream Technology Conference is one of the most attended events for ice cream business owners. This year’s conference looked at the US market and the trends and challenges that are faced by ice cream businesses in the US. The conference also highlighted the following key trends that should be considered when entering the market.
Niche companies and products – The ice cream market in the US is fragmented as more and more companies enter the market. At the moment US customers prefer handcrafted ice creams as they source ingredients from local farmers. Consumers also like the fact that handcrafted ice creams have individuality with their unique packaging and flavors.
Health concerns – Consumers have been looking at healthier versions of ice cream as the sales of ice creams that are GMO-free, hormone free, have no additives/preservatives and low/no/reduced calorie have become more popular.
Flavors and formats – Flavor is one of the most important factors when choosing an ice cream brand. Companies are trying to attract the more sophisticated palates with flavors that include salt, bitter notes, and alcohol that create signature flavors.
According to Gelato products, ice cream companies are now looking at healthier options that focus on flavor while using good quality products. Products differentiation is important, and therefore companies should look at offering customers better packaging, gelato spoons, and product information. Smaller ice cream brands are also taking the lead in the market, offering handcrafted flavor options that offer a specilized product.