Thursday, April 27, 2023

Putting Lactose to Work to Lower Added Sugars


Before we talk about added sugars and lactose, a HUGE congrats to the American Dairy Products Institute’s very successful annual conference in Chicago this week. The ADPI, a trade association representing manufacturers in the dairy-based ingredients category, celebrated its centennial year at the meeting and has big plans for the next century.

Read about how ADPI is seeking the next generation of dairy innovators HERE.

Reducing and eliminating added sugars in foods and beverages was the buzz this week, with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) hosting a virtual three-day Sugar Reduction Summit with the theme of “Supporting Science, Sparking Advocacy, Strengthening Communities.” Public health experts, community advocates, and policymakers from state, local, national and international levels convened to promote public policies that seek to reduce health harms from excess added sugars in foods and beverages. 

On Tuesday, CSPI and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene filed a joint petition with FDA to set voluntary targets for reducing added sugars in foods and beverages.  

When it comes to setting added sugar reduction targets, some of the heavy lifting has already been done by the New York City health department. Its National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative—started in 2009 to focus on salt and amended in 2018 to include sugar—has already developed total sugars reduction targets for the 15 categories of foods that contribute the most added sugars to the diet. This includes sweetened milk and milk substitutes, refrigerated and frozen desserts, and yogurt. You can read more HERE.

photo source: Chr. Hansen

The petition asks FDA to do four things. First, the agency should issue guidance for the food and beverage industry that provides short-term (2.5-year), mid-term (5-year) and long-term (10-year) targets for added sugars content in the commercially processed foods and drinks from categories that contribute the most overall added sugars. The long-term goal of the targets should be to bring Americans’ consumption of added sugars to less than 10% of calories, and the FDA should monitor industry’s progress toward achieving the targets, according to CSPI and New York City. 

Second, the FDA should create a public online database of all of the top-selling products included in the targeted food categories as well as each product’s nutrition information (including added sugars content) and ingredient list. Third, the petition says that after publishing its initial guidance to industry, FDA should provide public progress reports indicating how much progress companies have achieved toward the short-, medium- and long-term targets. And finally, the petition calls on FDA to expand its guidance to include prepared foods sold at restaurants and elsewhere, once menu labeling regulations are updated to require restaurants to disclose added sugars in menu items upon request. 

“When you account for the naturally occurring sugars in fruit, milk and other foods, there really isn’t very much room left in anyone’s diet for high-fructose corn syrup or other forms of added sugars,” said CSPI president Peter Lurie. “Yet food manufacturers are seemingly shoehorning added sugars into cereals, yogurts, breads and virtually every other category of processed or restaurant food. This needs to be reversed and the FDA needs to show the way.” 

photo source: Chr. Hansen

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), said, “People want to be healthy, and they want their kids and families to be healthy too. Processed, packaged foods make it all too easy to overconsume added sugars, which can lead to higher risks factors for a whole host of health conditions and chronic diseases with related astronomical health care costs, such as diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. We are at a tipping point. Implementing added sugars reduction targets for processed, packaged foods will ultimately lower added sugars in the food supply and the amount of added sugars people consume daily.”   

Dairy processors need to put that naturally occurring sugar in milk—lactose—to work. Processors may add lactase to milk before processing in order to make a lactose-free claim. The lactase enzyme breaks down lactose, a disaccharide, into its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and galactose, which are sweeter tasting than lactose. 

Couple this enzyme technology with effective use of natural flavors and flavor modulators, and you got yourself a dairy product that the Big Apple will embrace. With ice cream, refrigerated desserts, yogurt and even flavored milk, proper selection of fruit ingredients may assist, too. That’s because, like milk, the sugars in fruit are intrinsic, too. Single-strength fruit ingredients, such as purees, are not considered added sugars. 

photo source: Chr. Hansen
All of these technologies together may allow for a no-added-sugar claim. At the same time, breaking down the lactose makes the product easier to digest for those with lactose intolerances or sensitivities. 

Approximately 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, according to the National Institutes of Health. When lactose does not break down in the small intestine, it passes into the large intestine, where it may cause diarrhea, bloating and gas. 

In case you missed this new product announcement last week, Clover Sonoma, a third-generation family-owned-and-operated dairy and Certified B Corporation, is rolling out Clover the Rainbow Milk with a Splash of Flavor, the newest addition to the Clover the Rainbow product line designed for kids and kids at heart. The milk comes in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry flavors and is made with 100% USDA organic 2% lactose-free milk. Lactase enzyme is added to eliminate lactose and assist with natural sweetness. 

Chocolate has 2 grams of added organic cane sugar. It is made with organic cocoa and organic natural flavors. One cup contains 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 14 grams of sugar of which 12 grams are inherent, and 8 grams of protein. 

Strawberry has no added sugars. It is made with strawberry juice concentrate and natural flavors. One cup contains 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 grams of inherent sugar and 8 grams of protein. 
Vanilla has no added sugars. It is made with organic vanilla extract and natural flavors. One cup contains 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 grams of inherent sugar and 8 grams of protein. 

Good Culture has been finding much success with its lactose-free cottage cheese and sour cream products. All of Good Culture’s lactose-free cottage cheeses are made with just five simple ingredients: pasture-raised milk and cream, sea salt, live and active cultures, and lactase enzyme. 

And, in case you had not heard, “Cottage Cheese Is Making a Comeback,” according to Janet Helm’s recent article in U.S. News & World Report. Link to it HERE.

What do lipstick and dairy have in common?
The answer is they can both be treats for shoppers. The lipstick theory is that consumers will more often treat themselves to little luxuries, such as lipstick, when times are tough. The so-called “lipstick index” has been in effect over the past few years. However, Deloitte’s latest Global State of the Consumer Index findings imply that when it comes to treating ourselves, we may be more inclined to spend on food and beverage than cosmetics. 

In its latest paper, “For consumers, splurges aren’t just lipstick,” Deloitte asked consumers in 23 countries if they were making purchases to treat themselves. Then analysts created a database with nearly 150,000 consumer descriptions of their splurge purchases, including what they bought, how much they spent and why they bought it. You can access the paper HERE.

Key findings include: 
  • Most of us are splurging. Deloitte found more than three in four consumers globally (77%) say they made a splurge purchase in the last month. In the US, that jumps to 81%.
  • We eat and drink our treats. The most popular category for splurging is food and beverage. US consumers are four times more likely to have said their latest splurge purchase was food and beverage (42%) vs. personal care (11%).
Let’s make those treats free of added sugars and lactose. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

It’s a Pivotal Time for Dairy Processors: The Plant-based Fad Is Evolving into the Plant-forward Trend


First, Wood Milk. Founded by actress Aubrey Plaza, new (spoiler alert: it’s fictious), Wood Milk is 100% all-natural, milked wood. Inspired by the idea that these days you can make milk out of anything, Plaza looked at a tree and thought “could I drink this?” And thus, Wood Milk was born. Wood Milk’s fresh, new campaign is designed to inspire the next generation of milk drinkers and wood-based enthusiasts with a beverage that is made from trees but tastes nothing like dairy milk and has none of the nutritional benefits.

Created in the Wood Milk Orchards right here in the U.S., Wood Milk is made from the freshest flavors of maple, cherry, mahogany and hickory, all grown in bio-diverse, eco-friendly, artisanal, free-range wood forests. Using a state of the art “wood milking” process, Wood Milk is created fresh from a unique blend of trunks, roots and branches, right from the ground.

“Here at Wood Milk Orchards, we’re certain that our artisanal Wood Milk will be the only milk you’ll want to drink for the rest of your life,” says Plaza. “Why? Because I said so.”

Watch the commercial HERE

Moving on, FDA announced on April 20, 2023, that it is reopening the comment period for the draft guidance on the labeling of plant-based milk that appeared in the Federal Register on February 23, 2023. The new deadline for comments will be determined when the reopening notice publishes. The FDA is reopening the comment period in response to requests from stakeholders to allow additional time for interested persons to develop and submit comments.

It’s time to get REAL. For starters, cows’ milk marketers may want to entertain labeling products “Real Dairy Milk.”  Why not? This vernacular is used on dairy creamers. Goat milk and sheep milk marketers use the species in the name. I personally think “dairy” would be preferred to “cows,” but still, why not do this? 

Innovation Ideas from the 2023 Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia 

While many of you attended the International Dairy Foods Association’s annual, co-located Ice Cream Technology Conference and Yogurt & Cultured Innovation Conference in Austin, Texas, this week (sorry to have missed the event), I was the guest of the CIA at Copia in Napa Valley, Calif., for the Plant Forward conference. As they say, all food and beverage trends start in foodservice and many start with the most creative chefs in the country. Their innovations trickle down the food chain, often getting lightened for the everyday consumer. That’s what attracted me to the event. And it delivered. 

This was likely one of the most inspirational conferences I ever intended and have tons of thoughts to share for your future innovations. Keep in mind the conference was “plant forward.” It was all about making plants—mainly fruits and vegetables, but also grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and even algae—the star of the meal. However, real meat was welcome, just more of as a garnish. Think crispy, shredded  bacon sprinkled on top of a marinated and grilled celery root steak with an olive oil-based chili drizzle. Real dairy was even more welcome. Butter, in particular, was used for grilling. And, cheese, of course, makes all veggies better. There were plant-based options being used in some of the supplier-hosted tastings, but all of the chefs only reached for the real deal in their cooking demonstrations. 

In fact, every chef I heard speak criticized the overly processed and fakeness of alternatives. 

My favorite comment: Did anyone ever ask consumers if they wanted these alternatives? 

I doubt it. And that’s what makes this a pivotal moment for dairy processors. Plant-based meat and dairy products are evolving from being a fad to holding a small market share in animal-based categories. 

Fads fade. Trends stay. Trends fuel fads, but the fad—the impulsive response to something that consumers want—is never the answer. 

Let’s take a step back. We all have heard loud and clear messaging from nutrition authorities: eat more fruits and vegetables, among other dietary advice. That’s what consumers want, creative and delicious ways to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as other plant-based foods, namely whole grains, nuts, etc. Dairy foods can do that. It’s time to put on your thinking cap and get creative in product development.  

Please take note, after two days of eating mostly plants, I craved quality protein. My body needed a Greek yogurt on the third morning, and lunch at the airport, a juicy cheeseburger. I finally felt full. 

Photo source: Farmer's Fridge

So, on the heels of the ADPI meeting starting this Sunday (hope to see many of you there), where dairy proteins will be a focal point, let’s commit to creating products that complement the evolving plant-forward trend. 

Based on the more than 50 plant-forward dishes I sampled at the CIA event, here are some top-of-mind ideas to get you started in this space. 

Greek yogurt or fresh cheese—cottage, ricotta, farmers, etc.—parfaits in clear containers, such as the jars used by Farmer’s Fridge, with layers of diced sweet potatoes and pecans, corn kernels and black beans, or oats and whole berries. 

How about waffle toppers? I see this as being a cup of higher protein ice cream or frozen yogurt with whole fruits and nuts. When your waffle pops out of the toaster, just top it off with a slightly tempered waffle topper for a nutritious breakfast any time of day.

And how about salad toppers? Think dome container with creamy ranch dressing with shredded cheddar, with sweet green peas on top along with a packet of chopped walnuts. 

Ricotta cheese, in my opinion, is an underappreciated high-protein dairy product. Maybe add some spinach to it and market it as a lasagna filling, even better, a vegetable (slices of zucchini, eggplant and carrots) lasagna filling. 

No-melt cheeses, how about flavoring them and turning them into toppings such as parm in a can? I can see cotija seasoned with chilis, lime and cilantro as a corn-on-the-cob topper.  

The ideas are infinite. The future is plant forward. 

We NEED to eat more fruits and vegetables. We have for a very long time. That’s the consumer need. Dairy, in particular, high-protein dairy, can help consumers get there, all while keeping the diet simple, clean and as close to Mother Nature as possible. 

Fruity Flavors and Inclusions Shine at 2023 Innovative Ice Cream and Cultured Dairy Product Contests 

Congrats to the winners:

Most Innovative Ice Cream Flavor (currently offered for sale in the market)
1st Place: Honey Sopapilla | H-E-B
2nd Place: Banana Graham | Perry’s Ice Cream Company, Inc.
3rd Place: Spicy ‘n Spooky | Baskin Robbins

Most Innovative Ice Cream Novelty (currently offered for sale in the market)
1st Place: Lemon Bar Sandwich | DFA Dairy Brands
2nd Place: Vegan Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich | Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream 
3rd Place: Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar | Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Co., LLC

Most Innovative Cultured Dairy Product (currently offered for sale in the market)
1st Place: Smooth Blended Cottage Cheese with Strawberry | Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Dairy Product Innovation: How “Cultural” Contradictions Define the New Normal


Explore the seven themes fueling ice cream innovation in 2023 by linking HERE to view a 9-minute presentation on what’s hot in the freezer.

When it comes to food and beverage, today’s consumers want it all, according to new consumer research from Culinary Visions. This nationwide survey of more than 2,100 consumers found the hectic pace of modern life requires fast fuel as much as personal service and social food-centric experiences. 

This is especially true of the youngest consumers, the emerging Gen Z  workforce with their fat wallets because they moved back home into the family basement and are still on the family phone plan, health insurance, etc., etc., etc. (I feel your pain!)

“In 2016 Culinary Visions coined the term Oxy-Modern to describe a world of cultural contradictions that were driving food culture,” says Sharon Olson, executive director. “In the most recent study, we found that trends and counter trends are very much at play in today’s menus.”

This most recent study finds American consumers continue to be captivated by opposing trends both at home and away from home. The research identified three important areas where food professionals should focus on their innovation efforts. They are:

1. Fast Fueling AND Taking Time to Socialize

Pandemic weary consumers have returned with enthusiasm to immersive experiences like food festivals, street markets and fancy food emporiums where food is both the attraction and the entertainment. More than seven out of 10 (71%) of those surveyed said they enjoy a food market experience because it is just as much a social occasion as it is a shopping trip.

Yet the pace of life and volume of commitments are also fueling fast-casual and quick-service restaurants. More than half (57%) of survey participants said sharing a meal with a friend or family members in the car suits their hectic lifestyle.

How can we make dairy foods more of an experience? And, at the same time, make it an experience that complements on-the-go lifestyles? Texture is definitely an attribute to tap into. 

2. Getting Facts on Demand AND Learning from Experts

Food savvy consumers want to know as much as they can about the food they consume, and that goes beyond required ingredient statements on packaged goods. Technology that makes information easily accessible at the point of sale can encourage purchases of freshly prepared foods. Eight out of 10 shoppers agreed that they would like to have more information about the sources of the fresh items they purchase in the grocery store readily available to them in-store.

Although shoppers want the convenience of shopping that technology has enabled, when they come into the store, they want a worthwhile experience. In fact, 72% said that experts available to answer questions on specific food items made them feel like it was worth the trip to the store. And 86% said they enjoyed sampling products when shopping for groceries.

Folks, it’s time to invest in sampling!

3. Appreciating Local AND Exploring the World

The desire and willingness to pay for local and sustainable foods has become a mega-trend. Survey participants expressed an appreciation for everyone involved in bringing their food to the table. Furthermore, 77% said they are willing to pay more for food that comes from local producers. Having the opportunity to meet the producer adds to the appeal. 

And wait for it…75% of consumers surveyed said they like talking to food vendors who are passionate about the products they sell. That’s every dairy farmer and marketer I know!

While local foods have a powerful appeal, international foods and flavors are enticing. Even though global travel has been dampened in recent years, many countries are promoting their culture around the world with culinary diplomacy programs that introduce new foods to consumers at home and away from home. More than eight out of 10 (83%) consumers in this survey said they enjoy exploring new cultures through food. Modern consumers have a powerful sense of culinary adventure when it comes to exploring global foods. 

Think of all the opportunities in cultured and fermented dairy foods. And, now that the yogurt standard of identity has been modernized, dairy processors have a lot of room to innovate. 

That’s right. On April 13, 2023, FDA issued a final order to modify the standard of identity for yogurt, something the industry has wanted for many years. By modernizing the yogurt standard, the industry believes it will be better able to innovate to meet the needs and desires of today’s consumers. 

Get busy! It’s been a slow news category the past year. (Visit with Mark and Neeraj from Tate & Lyle at the Ice Cream and Yogurt Conference this week.)

The FDA first published a final rule in the Federal Register on June 11, 2021, that amended the definition and standard of identity for yogurt. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) objected to a requirement that yogurt either must have a minimum titratable acidity of 0.7% or a pH of 4.6 or lower before the addition of bulky flavoring ingredients, saying the requirements were not practical and did not reflect consumer taste preferences or current industry practice for yogurt manufacturing.

FDA did revise the rule requiring a pH of 4.6 or lower measured on the finished product within 24 hours after filling. If a bulky flavor, with fruit pieces being an example, is added to yogurt and increases the pH, the pH must be 4.6 or lower after the product has had time to equilibrate, according to FDA. 
However, FDA said the minimum titratable acidity level, whether set at 0.7% or 0.6%, would not provide flexibility to manufacturers, and did not make IDFA’s requested change. (The pH and titratable acidity of yogurt both play into food safety and sensory.)

The final rule goes into effect on April 14, 2023, (BTW, this is the day my youngest son turns 21!). The compliance date is January 1, 2024. 

This rule also sets the minimum, optional fortification of vitamin D at 10% of the Daily Value. It permits the use of fat-containing flavoring ingredients, such as coconut flakes, nuts, chocolate, etc., in lower-fat yogurt, even if the addition increases the total fat above the nutrient content claim level related to milkfat content. And, it also allows for the use of all safe and suitable sweeteners, including non-nutritive sweeteners. The rule provides for clear disclosure of non-nutritive sweeteners on labels where consumers are most familiar to looking for this information in the ingredient declaration.  

For a historical perspective on this ruling, link HERE.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Seven Themes Fueling Ice Cream Innovation in 2023

Today’s blog has an accompanying 9-minute presentation that may be viewed HERE or by linking on the image above.

It may not feel like summer is near, but it is, and crowded ice cream freezers confirm it. The frozen desserts space is on fire this year with innovations all over the board to not let consumers get bored. And consumers are buying in!

Maybe it’s because those chest freezers we all bought during the pandemic have finally emptied and we are fighting home-cooking fatigue by returning to restaurants. So why not stock up on all the frozen creations rolling out, many of which are only being produced in limited batches? Buy now. Eat later!

Here are seven directions that innovative ice cream marketers are taking this ice cream season. 

1. Deliver an Experience.
Consumers are looking for unique flavor and texture experiences. Maybe it’s heat with sweet, popping boba or crunchy fudge variegate. Layers of flavors and textures that require a spoon to experience or savory, unexpected tastes that consumers may not want in ice cream, but curiosity gets them to purchase, especially when the experience is only available for a limited time. 

2. Create an Urgency to Purchase. 
Limited-edition ice cream flavors are all the rage. They create an urgency to purchase because the concept might be sold out during the next shopping trip. 

St. Louis-based micro-creamery Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Ice Cream is taking the limited-batch concept to a 30-day cycle with its new Zodiac Series, a monthly flavor release with an ice cream inspired by each new season’s astrological sign. The flavor--available at the company’s scoop shops for immediate consumption as well as in pre-packed pints ($12)--will highlight the personality profile of that particular sign. The series started on March 21 with a nod to Aries. 

“Pandan” represents the fearless and confident Aries willing to try new things. The flavor is made with fresh pandan leaves from Southeast Asia in a custom sweet cream base. The brilliant green hued ice cream is described as magnetizing, reflective of Aries’ dynamic energy.

“It’s a different way to connect with ice cream,” says Tamara Keefe, founder. “We can all find a little bit of ourselves in our horoscope readings, so it will be a fun test to see if we hit the mark of your favorite ice cream flavor profiles. We chose flavor profiles that represent the characteristics of an astrological sign.”

Here are the other flavors in the Zodiac Series and the company’s interpretation:

Taurus = Peanut Butter Pleasures. “We see your preference for a luxurious lifestyle, and we get it. You have a respectable balance between being laid-back and hard-working, and we want to help make that relaxation time even more enjoyable. Our Peanut Butter Pleasures flavor is the definition of decadence. Triple dark chocolate ice cream with a swirl of creamy, rich peanut butter. We also understand your fixation on stability. Take solace in knowing that your ice cream zodiac is inspired by our best-selling chocolate ice cream flavor, so have confidence in your dessert investment.” 

Gemini = Matcha Raspberry Sorbet. “You are a busy butterfly. Your life is so all over the place that you wish you could clone yourself. We’ve channeled the Gemini’s intrinsic duality into one sorbet with two different, yet complementary flavors: matcha green tea and fresh raspberry. The earthy matcha flavor shines with the fresh fruit pairing and makes for an irresistibly tart combination. We appreciate your adaptability to ever-changing situations, sass and being the life of the party.”

Cancer = Peachy Heat Cheesecake. “It might take us a while to break through your walls, but we’ll be glad when we do. Your gentle, genuine compassion makes everyone around you feel at home. Like your welcoming aura, your home is warm and inviting and serves as a sanctuary for all who visit. That’s why we are sharing a Peachy Heat Cheesecake ice cream with you. A decadent cream cheese ice cream with old school spicy peach jam that reminds us of dessert back at mom’s house.”

Leo = Lioness. “We respect your position as ‘king of the jungle’ in this life. Ambitious, courageous and loyal, you serve as an inspiration for leaders. You put your entire heart into your relationships and endeavors. You have many gifts to share with the world, and you do not let anyone forget them. Enjoy your lavish lifestyle, exceed your ambitious goals, and continue to push the boundaries. We’ll play a part with our Lioness flavor, a golden milk ice cream with a Lion’s mane sweet crumble. Because what else for the kings and queens of the celestial world?” 

Virgo = Baked Apple Betty. “Virgos are notoriously dependable and approach life with a keen sense of logic, which is why the heartwarming flavors of apple pie just make sense. Cinnamon ice cream with bits of homemade apple pie (butter crumb topping, sliced apples and a splash of orange juice) swirled in are the most poised of flavors for the understated Virgo.”

Libra = Grapefruit and Orange Blossom Sorbet. ”You understand the beauty in balance and harmony. Your empathy, charm and consideration make you the ultimate team player and sparks fly when you are paired with the right partner. The two unsuspecting partners right now are grapefruit and orange blossom. The balance between tart and sweet citrus will leave your taste buds tingling for more. You tend to appreciate the simple pleasures in life, and this flavor that tastes like a smile on a summer day, is a treat you’ll come back to again and again.”

Scorpio = Pomegranate Sorbet. ”You have a sharp edge in the best way. You value authenticity, commitment, and are always several steps ahead of others. You are a magnetic force that appears calm yet are intensely emotional and intuitive underneath the surface. What may look simple and plain from the outside is teeming with intrigue and zest. It’s the same situation when inspecting a pomegranate, which serves as a metaphor for the Scorpio experience. We present Pomegranate Sorbet, a sweet and sour ice cream that’s simple yet zippy and impressive.”
Sagittarius = Peppermint Crush. “You were born to explore and uncover the secret knowledge of the universe. Your free-ranging nature, passion and curiosity inspired us to look at an ancient plant associated with mystical healing powers and valuable flavoring. The result is a minty, cool peppermint ice cream sprinkled with peppermint candy and dark chocolate flakes. Grab a spoonful of this refreshing ice cream and dive into the history of botanicals in food, engage in a philosophical conversation with friends or jump to one of your several other current interests.” 

Capricorn = Cranberry Pistachio. “Capricorn, no need to be so serious. You appreciate structure and order as you set out to accomplish your goals, and strangers may see only your serious and confident persona. But we know about your secret wild side. You value structure, but love to add adventure and spontaneity occasionally. It’s why we’ve taken a classic, pistachio, and added a tart swirl of cranberry with graham cracker crumble sprinkled throughout for you. Make sure to take a break from your hardworking lifestyle to enjoy a moment of joy.”

Aquarius = Iced Mocha Sorbet. “Aquarius’ innovative and dominant mindset needs a caffeinated match. The Iced Mocha Sorbet is a robust touch of espresso, balanced with rich chocolate and a touch of sweetness.”

Pisces = Vegan Mint Chip. “Pisces love to teeter between the line of fantasy and reality. A crisp spearmint and peppermint coconut milk-based ice cream, swirling with pieces of dark mint chocolate bar is the perfect combination to a gentle adventurer.”

3. Promise Indulgence.
Keto claims on ice cream promise the shopper a rich mouthfeel with no- to low-added sugars. Indulgence is not sacrificed in these ultra-high fat treats. Fat is not the enemy in the keto diet. Sugar is. The extra richness compensates for the lack of sugar. This is not something one gets in high-protein, low-sugar, low-calorie ice creams. Keto is not a low-calorie food. 

Indulgence is also about not making sacrifices. If lactose intolerance or sensitivity is what makes a consumer stray from cows milk ice cream, then bring them back to real dairy by booting out the lactose. That’s why Pierre’s is growing its Lactose Free line. Cookies & Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip join Pierre’s Chocolate and Vanilla, which rolled out a decade ago. Pierre’s Lactose Free Ice Cream is made just like other ice cream flavors, but with the addition of lactase enzyme, which breaks down the lactose in the ice cream.
“Our lactose free ice cream fans provided us with a lot of great feedback about the kind of fun flavors they would enjoy,” says Matt Thornicroft, Pierre’s communications manager. 

“Added Indulgence” is the name of the game in Perry’s new pint line. It is spelled out on the cartons. The indulgent formulation was developed in response to findings published in the Raymond James report, Summer 2022, showing that 80% of ice cream users are seeking indulgent experiences, especially in the super-premium category, according to the company. The lineup includes 13 extra-indulgent ice cream flavors and 1 unique sherbet.

“These ice cream pints truly are extra indulgent. We’ve increased the butterfat and density resulting in an extra indulgent experience of creamy richness,” Amanda Gleba, product development manager at Perry’s. 

Varieties are: 
Bad Breakup: Sea salt caramel chocolate ice cream with milk fudge swirls and rich fudge filled hearts.
Brownie Batter: Brownie batter ice cream with brownie batter swirls and chunky brownie dough bites.
Cheat Day: Brown sugar ice cream with brownie batter swirls and chunks of brownie dough and cookie dough.
Deep Sea Treasure: Sea salt caramel ice cream with decadent sea salt truffles and gooey caramel swirls.
Fireball: Fiery cinnamon-flavored ice cream with zesty cinnamon flavored swirls and spicy cinnamon candies.
Grasshopper Pie: Mint ice cream with thick fudge swirls and sweet crème filled cookies.
Madagascar Vanilla: Madagascar vanilla ice cream with a hint of sea salt.
Northern Lights: Sour green apple, blue raspberry and grape flavored sherbet.
Off the Grid: Chocolate ice cream with creamy peanut butter swirls and chopped peanut butter cups.
Panda Paws: Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter panda paw cups and thick rich fudge.  
Peanut Butter Cookie: Sugar cookie ice cream with creamy peanut butter swirls and peanut butter cookie dough pieces.  
Piece of Cake: Yellow cake ice cream with thick chocolate frosting and fluffy pound cake pieces.
Rocky Mountain Raspberry: White chocolate ice cream with almond raspberry fudge chunks and sweet raspberry swirls.
Southern Pecan: Butter pecan ice cream with an overload of pecans.  

4. Offer a Relationship.
Ice cream is very personal for many consumers and when a flavor offers a sentimental connection, you’ve got a relationship with longevity…or at least until the flavor sells out. 

H-E-B is honoring the 2022 World Series champions with private-label Creamy Creations Houston Astros Peanut Brittle ice cream. The flavor comprises peanut butter ice cream with peanut brittle pieces and caramel swirl. The retailer is donating 5% of the price of each ice cream purchase to the Astros Foundation. The foundation seeks to harness the passion of baseball fans to support youth baseball and softball programs, the recognition/honor of our nation’s military, childhood cancer awareness and efforts to reduce homelessness.

The carton’s label is a tribute to the home field advantage with an original illustration commissioned by H-E-B featuring Orbit, views of Minute Maid Park with an open roof from behind home plate and the outfield, fans young and old enjoying the bases loaded for a win, and H-town’s beloved “home run” train ready to signal another run.

Relationships can in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes they are superheroes other times they are a philanthropy. Sustainability and upcycling come into play here. 

5. Explore the World.
Provide consumers an escape from reality, this sad excuse for a reality that we live in these days. (OK, this was a pretty awesome week!) 
Take them on a flavor adventure using authentic recipes and ingredients from around the world. Stamp their passport. 

6. Provide Permission to Enjoy All Day.
From frozen yogurt with granola and whole fruit to sleep-friendly formulations, frozen dairy desserts can be formulated to be enjoyed all day. This is where 100-calorie (or close) snacks fit in. 

My/Mochi is rolling out Cereal and Milk Mochi Ice Cream, which brings together cereal and ice cream, wrapped in chewy mochi dough. There’s also new Mochi in the Morning, a line of smoothies for the morning daypart. They feature fruit puree wrapped in soft rice mochi dough.

7. Embrace Non-Dairy Options.
The global non-dairy ice cream market was valued $700 million in 2022, according to a recent report from Global Market Insights. It is projected to surpass $1.9 billion by 2032.

Interestingly, recent research from ofi shows that most of the time, non-dairy “dairy” is not cannibalizing dairy. It’s in addition to purchasing dairy. 

Dairies make the best non-dairy ice cream. Maybe offer a variety or two. 

Today’s blog has an accompanying 9-minute presentation that may be viewed HERE.

To read more about the products pictured in this blog, link HERE.