Friday, December 1, 2023

Dairy Industry Countdown to 2024: It’s time to start developing seasonal dairy foods for the coming year.


Happy December 1st! Can you believe it’s almost 2024? That means you need to start thinking about your product mix for this coming year!

It was not that long ago—and seriously, it’s been less than a decade—that ice cream marketers finally figured the trick to changing ice cream from being only a warm weather treat to an all-year long one. The solution: limited-time offerings (LTOs), in particular, concepts focused on the snowy, wintery month of December. 

There’s big business in LTOs, especially with products intended to get consumers in the spirit of the season. These products raise curiosity and create an urgency to purchase because of their limited availability. They are typically flavor focused and may provide a multi-sensorial experience, meaning visual cues must be considered, as well as texture and mouthfeel.  

Hope these LTOs inspire your innovation efforts for the coming year.

From the North Pole to Kroger-owned stores nationwide comes The Elf on the Shelf ice cream products, a brand owned by The Lumistella Company. The ice cream is produced and distributed by The Frozen Farmer. There’s Santa’s Cookies Ice Cream in pints (vanilla ice cream loaded with red and green sugar cookie crumbles) and Santa’s Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches, which is red and green sugar cookie-flavored ice cream nestled between two sugar-sprinkled sugar cookies. The packaging for both products also delivers on the tradition of gift giving and connectivity by including a gift tag for those who purchase the products to write a personalized message.

Publix has launched nine new limited-time own-brand ice cream flavors, with some of them centered on the winter season. The Marshmallow, Candy Cane & Cookie Blast variety is marshmallow-flavored ice cream with bits of candy cane and a chocolate cookie swirl. Peppermint Stick is vanilla ice cream with festive bits of peppermint candy. Santa’s White Christmas is coffee-flavored ice cream mixed with cocoa espresso flakes. These join Eggnog and Pumpkin Pie options. 

Cold Stone Creamery is embracing the holiday season with Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream. This flavor is featured in two Creations: Berry Cozy Red Velvet (with strawberries, graham cracker pie crust and cream cheese frosting) and Red Velvet Luxury (with chocolate shavings, red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese frosting. The chain also brought back fan-favorite Brown Sugar Ice Cream, which is used to make the Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Sensation Creation (cookie dough, brown sugar and caramel).

For a family-style dessert, Cold Stone developed the Chocolate & Velvet Cold Stone Ice Cream Cake. It is layers of red velvet cake and devil’s food cake, red velvet cake batter ice cream and cream cheese frosting all wrapped in fudge ganache.

Baskin-Robbins stores are once again ready for this holiday season. The new Happy Holly-days Cake features a frosted wreath of icing pine branches, eucalyptus leaves and holly berries that make it an Insta-worthy centerpiece. It goes well with any cake and ice cream flavor, including BR’s Flavor of the Month: Cup of Cocoa. This new feature flavor captures the spirit of the season with all the cozy components of hot chocolate. It combines marshmallow- and cocoa-flavored ice creams with mini marshmallows.

While developing Cup of Cocoa, the company tested a variety of different marshmallows and flavor pairings to ensure it was a hot cocoa lover’s dream come true. The cocoa ice cream gives a light chocolate flavor with pops of gooey sweetness from the marshmallow pieces, while the marshmallow-flavored ice cream provides a light and sweet balance to the cocoa ice cream.

Dolcezza Gelato is into the season for the first time. The brand’s special-edition flavors launched exclusively at Whole Foods Market nationwide for $5.99 each. The cozy flavors Sugar Cookie Dough and Hot Cocoa use fresh ingredients from local farmers in the Washington, D.C. area. Sugar Cookie Dough is made with a classic base of sugar cookie batter gelato and has chunks of sugar cookie dough throughout with chocolate chips folded into the mix while Hot Cocoa is made with a spiced milk chocolate gelato with mini marshmallows and dark chocolate cookie pieces crushed into the creamy pint. 

Blue Bunny’s seasonal lineup welcomed three new concepts. Candy Cane Crunch Mini Bars feature pink peppermint frozen dairy dessert dipped in a whipped cream coating and crunchy peppermint candy pieces. Frosted Sugar Cookie Soft is a sugar cookie-flavored frozen dairy dessert with a soft-serve-like texture. Peppermint Stick is pink peppermint-flavored frozen dairy dessert with red and green peppermint candies. 

McConnell’s is putting a twist on the classics with new Peppermint Mocha & Brownie Bites (gluten-free brownie pieces folded into peppermint-spiked mocha cream with swirls of rich, chocolate ganache) and Gingerbread House (house-baked gingerbread cookies folded into oat milk-based cream and painted with swirls of dark, Guittard chocolate). 

Dippin’ Dots has new Candy Cane beaded ice cream. The cool flavor combines a festive mix of red and green peppermint ice creams swirled together with classic vanilla ice cream to guarantee holiday enjoy-mint. It is available at Dippin’ Dots locations, convenience stores, amusement and entertainment venues, and local events nationwide.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We are thrilled to bring Candy Cane Ice Cream to consumers across the country for a limited time this winter,” said Matt Inderlied, senior vice president and general manager for Dippin’ Dots. “There is a high consumer demand for seasonal flavors, especially around the holidays. This Candy Cane-inspired flavor evokes the festive spirit of the season, not only in its look, but in its sweet, minty taste, too.”

Tillamook County Creamery Association also has two new LTOs. Peppermint Bark is made with a base of rich peppermint ice cream and is sprinkled with candy cane bits and white chocolate chip chunks. Holiday Sugar Cookie packs chunks of sugar cookie dough into an extra-creamy cookie dough ice cream.

“At Tillamook, we relish the opportunity to be a part of holiday celebrations. These festive new flavors are a taste of traditional holiday treats with a Tillamook twist,” said Ian Moppert, ice cream scientist. “Many of us have fond memories of eating certain dishes during the holidays, such as our grandmother’s sugar cookies. And just like those beloved cookies, we make our ice cream with no shortcuts. Our ice cream tastes better because it’s made better.”

And in case you missed the Daily Dose of Dairy this past Tuesday, another shout out to Double Rainbow Gourmet Ice Cream for its “12 Days of Ice Cream.” This holiday countdown calendar is filled with a unique selection of festive ice creams in a giftable box. It features three individual packages wrapped together in a whimsical holiday scene of the streets of San Francisco. Each package contains four cups of ice cream behind perforated, numbered doors for a total of 12 cups of ice cream. Each door is intended to be opened one at a time and will reveal a surprise flavor carefully crafted to capture the essence of the season.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re so excited to make it sweeter,” said Double Rainbow CEO and President Taryn Segal. “This gift brings out the kid in all of us, a feeling of anticipation and joy each day when opening one of the 12 doors. Whether it’s for gifting, sharing with loved ones or indulging in a treat for yourself, this calendar is the perfect way to countdown the holiday season.” 

Let the celebrations begin!

No comments:

Post a Comment