ice cream

Category Trend Focus: Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert

Exploring the Evolving Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Market

Summer is here, and the ice cream market is buzzing with excitement! As consumers seek delightful indulgence and refreshing treats, the ice cream industry faces the exciting challenge of delivering irresistible flavors, textures, and appearances while ensuring cost-effectiveness. Let’s explore some of the latest trends and solutions shaping this delectable category, with a special focus on the magic of Locust Bean Gum and other exciting ingredients that enhance the taste, texture, and overall experience of these frozen delights.

Dairy-based ice cream and frozen yogurt leads on launches

According to Innova Market Insights, dairy-based ice creams and frozen yogurt (46%) was the leading category for product launches in 2022, while there was a +33% growth in ice cream & dessert launches with a plant-based claim from 2018-2022. In terms of region, Europe leads on product launches accounting for 40%.

Gone are the days of simple vanilla and chocolate. The ice cream and frozen yogurt market have become a playground for flavor experimentation and culinary imagination. From exotic fruits and gourmet chocolates to unexpected combinations like salted caramel or lavender honey, there’s an endless array of flavors to suit every palate. Moreover, the inclusion of mix-ins, such as nuts, candies, and cookie dough in frozen dessert, shows opportunity for innovation and elevates the experience, adding delightful textures and surprises. Indeed, innovative product formats and interactive experiences have breathed new life into the ice cream and frozen yogurt market. Rolled ice cream, banana halves, frozen blueberry cheesecake, and customizable frozen yogurt bars have become Instagram-worthy trends, attracting young consumers seeking not only a delicious treat but also a visually stunning and shareable experience.

Innova Market Insights – Ice cream & frozen dessert Report

In recent years, the ice cream and frozen yogurt market has witnessed a significant shift towards catering to health-conscious consumers. As people seek a balance between indulgence and well-being, manufacturers have responded with a range of innovative options. Low-fat, sugar-free, and lactose-free varieties have become increasingly prevalent, providing guilt-free enjoyment for those with specific dietary needs or preferences.

According to Innova, “Vegetarian” is the top positioning claim for frozen yogurt and ice cream NPD during Jan 22 – Jun 22, following by “Indulgent and premium”, “Halal”, “Gluten Free”, and “No additives/ Preservatives”.

It seems that ice cream and frozen yogurt market players are attempting to improve their product offerings by including organic components, making them cholesterol-free, and creating vegan freezing products with no added preservatives or additives. 

Consumers search for texture indulgence

When it comes to ice cream and frozen desserts, taste is just the beginning. In today’s market, consumers are on the hunt for an indulgent sensory experience that goes beyond flavor alone. The quest for texture indulgence has taken center stage, as people seek frozen treats that offer a delightful mouthfeel and a truly satisfying sensation.

Texture plays a crucial role in our enjoyment of food. It adds depth, complexity, and excitement to the overall eating experience. Consumers crave that perfect balance between creamy and smooth textures.

With almost a fifth (19%) of consumers globally searching for indulgence claims when buying ice cream and frozen desserts, locust bean gum is set to thrive as the go-to choice for ice cream innovation.

Locust bean gum is tapping in with growth for indulgence claims

1 in 2 ice cream products with locust bean gum (including dairy alternatives) are launched (Global, 2022). Moreover, locust bean gum has the highest penetration in non-dairy ice cream launches with 57%.

Locust bean gum (LBG) is making its mark in the world of ice cream and frozen desserts, catering to the growing demand for indulgent treats with clean label claims. This natural gum derived from the seeds of the carob tree has gained popularity as a texture enhancer and stabilizer, revolutionizing the way frozen delights are enjoyed.

Elevating texture and palatability

One of the key attributes that make ice cream and frozen desserts truly indulgent is their creamy texture. Locust bean gum shines in this aspect by improving the overall mouthfeel and creaminess. It acts as a natural thickening agent and stabilizer, preventing the formation of ice crystals and contributing to a smooth, luscious texture that melts luxuriously on the tongue. With LBG, manufacturers can deliver the ultimate indulgence experience that consumers crave. According to Innova, top texture innovation for ice cream launches with LBG are crunchy, creamy and chunky.

Moreover, LBG being a natural alternative to artificial stabilizers and emulsifiers, aligns perfectly with the clean label trend. It is derived from a plant source and undergoes minimal processing, making it a desirable choice for those looking for simple, recognizable ingredients in their frozen treats.

While LBG adds a touch of magic to ice cream and frozen yogurt, several other ingredients contribute to their irresistible appeal. This is the case of guar gum, a leading ingredient with 41% of ice cream & dessert ingredients tracked (Global, 2022).

Among the fastest-growing ice cream & dessert ingredients, Innova spotlights the tara gum with +33% (Global, CAGR 2018-2022)

Enhance the sensory experience of ice cream & frozen dessert with the naltive range

Nexira offers a wide range of specialties including naltive™ locust bean gum, naltive™ tara gum and naltive™ guar gum. All our naltive range is perfectly suitable for plant-based products.

locust bean gum
naltive guar gum nexira
naltive guar gum

Our naltive range improves the mouthfeel in reduced-fat dairy products and brings roundness and more texture to plant-based products.

Nexira developed a wide range of products that perfectly suits ice cream and frozen dessert formulations. The naltive range offers an improved texture by:

  • Helping to control the ice crystal size & prevent the growth of ice crystals during the shelf life allowing a uniform & smooth texture
  • Improving the resistance to heat-shock
  • Allowing a smooth meltdown
  • Improving the mouthfeel in frozen yogurt  
  • Developing flavor release
  • Being compatible with other ingredients, can be used in combination/ synergy with other hydrocolloids to adjust the texture (Guar, Xanthan, …)

The control of our sourcing and the purely physical method of process are also major concerns to meet market expectations.

Watch our technical video to understand how to improve mouthfeel and shelf life in ice cream and frozen desserts, thanks to our naltive range:  

Locust bean gum has emerged as a game-changer in the ice cream and frozen dessert market, tapping into the desire for indulgence and clean label ingredients. Tara gum and guar gum are also leading ingredients in this category.

With their ability to enhance texture, improve stability, and offer clean label appeal, these three ingredients open up new possibilities for creating premium, indulgent frozen treats that satisfy consumers’ cravings. As the industry evolves and consumer preferences continue to shape the market, Locust bean gum, tara gum and guar gum will undoubtedly play a significant role in the ongoing innovation of ice cream and frozen desserts.

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