Friday, July 28, 2023

The Pint Package Gains Presence in the Freezer with Unique Concepts


As we wrap up July, National Ice Cream Month, it seems appropriate to once again discuss the pint package in the freezer. Pints are a powerful package size in the world of ice cream. By definition, pints hold 16 fluid ounces of product; however, for economics, some “pint” packs contain a little less.

Regardless of how much is inside, pints cost more--often a lot more—on a per-ounce-base than larger-sized ice cream containers. In fact, numerous artisan, hand-crafted brands command more than $10 per pint at retail. Such smaller-sized containers, though more expensive, invite consumers to try something new. There’s less product, and thus less risk of waste if you don’t like it.

With concern over inflation at the lowest it has been in the past 12 months, shoppers are firing up the grill and stocking the freezer with their favorite summer treats. That includes ice cream! In 84.51’s July Consumer Digest, the Cincinnati-based data powerhouse provides real-time insights on consumer’s path to purchase and their key decision points, along with what’s in their summer shopping baskets. 

Half of shoppers surveyed said they are purchasing more ice cream than usual this summer. Ice cream is the top impulse buy for shoppers, with more than two out of three (69%) shoppers saying they are most likely to decide to purchase ice cream/novelties during their shopping trip. That’s more than snacks/candy (67%), fresh bakery (63%) and produce (45%). And more consumers are shopping in-store, according to 84.51. That’s a great opportunity for ice cream, which makes eye-catching flavor descriptions and cool package graphics on ice cream pints very attractive to the impulse shopper. 

Pints help ice cream manufacturers overcome formulation challenges associated with adding lots of inclusions, especially variegates and fruit sauces that impact freezing temperature and product integrity over shelf life. Pints also allow for unique formulations, such as layers and cores. This is something Ben & Jerry’s taught the ice cream industry when the brand started packing in chunks, chips, swirls and all types of flavorful ingredients that could cause the aerated ice cream mixture to collapse in a larger-sized container that would go in and out of the home freezer for multiple eating occasions.

Recent Rollouts

Just this week, legendary hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg, along with the Happi Co., broke into the frozen dessert aisle with Dr. Bombay Ice Cream. The seven-variety line of pints promises an experience that will help “free ya mind and rock your taste buds to the core.” Customers can expect a unique, yet nostalgic experience with Dr. Bombay Ice Cream. Snoop Dogg selected the flavors to curate an ice cream collection that allows them to find their own flava. Varieties are Bonus Track Brownie, Cocoa Cream Cookie Dream, Iced Out Orange Cream, Rollin’ In the Dough, S’more Vibes, Syrupy Waffle Sundaze Tropical Sherbet Swizzle.

“Ice cream is more than just a snack to me; it’s a way to chill, relax and get happy,” says Snoop Dog. “That’s exactly what I want Dr. Bombay Ice Cream to do, bring a smile to your face and ease your mind. I’ve poured my heart and soul into perfecting these first seven flavors, and I can’t wait for my fans and the world to experience what I’ve created. Fans will also notice that my sidekick, Dr. Bombay, is the name, face and persona of this brand. That’s because he’s like a son to me and you always want your kids to be more successful than you are. That’s my goal in building this lifestyle brand, starting with ice cream.”

Enlightened, the first and largest brand within Beyond Better Foods, a New York City-based company founded by Forbes Under 30 alum Michael Shoretz in 2012, is shaking things up in the freezer with new Greek Frozen Yogurt Pints. Enlightened was one of the first light ice creams on the market. These new pints are an upgraded version with added texture, taste and nutritional value.

Enlightened’s new pints are made with premium Greek yogurt to deliver the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, while offering all the benefits of Greek yogurt, such as prebiotics and probiotics. With 150 calories or less, 8 to 10 grams of protein, and minimal added sugar per serving, these pints are both a delicious and nutritious treat.

“After seeing our customers’ response to our Greek yogurt bars earlier this year, we knew we had to try a pint version,” says Shoretz. “We strive to make the best-tasting low-sugar treats by constantly adapting and improving.”

The pints are launching in six varieties. They are Brownies & Cookie Dough, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coffee Toffee, Kookie Dough, Mint Chip and Salted Caramel Cookie. Kookie Dough is uniquely colored blue by using the natural coloring spirulina. 

Gaining traction in the marketplace is Two Spoons, a brand started by two LA foodies who yearned to have premium ice cream on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. They spent two years testing more than 1,000 batches of ice cream until “we perfected our recipe.” Made with California dairy, combined with natural ingredients and homemade mix-ins, the slow-churned ice cream has only 6 grams or less of net carbs per pint. 

Family-owned brands Hudsonville Ice Cream and Little Debbie continue their collaboration with four new additions to their year-round line of snack cake ice cream flavors. They are Birthday Cake (sweet white cake-flavored ice cream with yellow cake pieces and colorful icing sprinkles), Fudge Rounds (chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake-flavored ice cream marbled together with soft chocolatey cake crumbs), Star Crunch (caramel-flavored ice cream with chocolate-coated crispies and a thick fudge swirl) and Unicorn Cakes (strawberry-flavored ice cream with yellow pound cake pieces and purple sanding sugar, finished with a blue icing swirl). The product is also expanding distribution to retailers nationwide. 

The four new flavors join the original Hudsonville Little Debbie ice cream line that launched in February 2022 exclusively at Walmart. Original flavors include Cosmic Brownie, Honey Buns, Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, Swiss Rolls and Zebra Cakes.

Heritage Kulfi recently added two new flavors to its premium kulfi collection: Almond Blossom and Malai Sweet Cream. Kulfi’s origins are in the Indian subcontinent dating back to the 16th century, yet it remains challenging to find it in American supermarkets…until now. The line made its debut a few years ago with limited distribution. The original line includes Alphonso Mango, Cardamom Chai, Coconut, Earl Grey, Pistachio, Rosewater, Saffron and Vanilla Bean varieties. Heritage Kulfi is slow cooked and cooled overnight, yielding a dense, creamy texture and rich dairy notes. 

“I have always seen Heritage Kulfi as an extension of my own identity and a way to stay connected with my culture through food,” says Ahmed Mansoor, founder and CEO. “These quintessential kulfi flavors not only extend that opportunity to the entire South Asian community, but offer something authentic to anyone who appreciates delicious, well-made ice cream.”

New Almond Blossom reflects almond’s key place in South Asian desserts like kheer (rice pudding) and burfi (fudge). This flavor is concocted with real California almonds and a touch of orange blossom for a bright, sunny finish. Malai Sweet Cream honors malai, the defining flavor of traditional kulfi. Malai is the cream that forms at the surface when milk is heated. High in milk fat with a distinctive cooked milk flavor, malai serves as the backbone of all Heritage Kulfi flavors. In traditional kulfi making, malai is the base upon which all other flavorings are layered, giving all Heritage Kulfi ice creams a consistently creamy and rich cooked-milk profile. For those seeking to explore kulfi for the first time, or for those already intimately familiar with the dessert eager for a nostalgic, authentic representation, the Malai Sweet Cream is the place to start.

Collaboration Drives Innovation with Midwest Dairy and The Hatchery Chicago

The Hatchery Chicago, a leading non-profit incubator dedicated to fostering successful food and beverage businesses on the West Side of Chicago, announces its collaboration with farmer-focused leaders, Midwest Dairy, for an opportunity aimed at emerging brands. The Private Kitchen Pitch Contest Presented by Midwest Dairy offers participants access to state-of-the-art, commercial kitchen space and comprehensive support services to fuel business growth. Two finalists will be awarded up to one year of private kitchen space at The Hatchery, enabling them to scale their businesses like never before.

In the previous year, five companies showcased their innovative ideas before a panel of judges, and Nikkita Randle’s Twisted Eggroll emerged as the winner, securing six months of rent-free private commercial kitchen space. Reflecting on the experience, Randle stated, “Midwest Dairy has been an absolute blessing for [us]. Having our rent eliminated for six months kept our business in a healthier financial state. We were able to send out more samples to potential stores with the funds we saved. Midwest Dairy has connected us to a different platform that will allow Twisted Eggroll to thrive moving forward.”

Natalie Shmulik, chief strategy and incubation officer of The Hatchery, says, “We take immense pride in partnering with Midwest Dairy for another exciting pitch contest to support the startup community. Midwest Dairy’s commitment to advancing innovation, as well as creating more diverse and inclusive opportunities for startups, greatly aligns with our mission. These sponsored kitchens give entrepreneurs the opportunity to push past barriers, launch unique concepts to market, and drive innovation in dairy and the industry as a whole.”

To be eligible for the Private Kitchen Pitch Contest Presented by Midwest Dairy, all applicant businesses must utilize 30% or more of cow’s dairy milk in their ingredient base. Current private kitchen tenants of The Hatchery Chicago are not eligible to participate. Prospective businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply HERE

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