Ice Cream started with the basic concept of freezing milk or cream. It was thought to have been invented in China around 200 BC, although its profile grew in the 16th Century when Catherine de Medici brought it to the French court following her marriage to Henri II.

Since then, this simple dessert has grown into a global industry worth US$57.7 Billion in 2018 and projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8% from 2019 – 2024. On the other side of this growth is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of ice cream businesses across the world, making it difficult to stand out.

This has led to innovation across multiple parts of the industry. Here we look at some of the options open to ice cream brands that are looking to differentiate.

Be Flavourful
Vanilla may still be the best selling flavour worldwide, however for the more adventurous, there are thousands of flavour combinations available with new ones being launched all the time. Specialised flavour manufacturers like Quest are able to engineer custom made flavours or even reverse engineer existing flavours from other countries.

Some of the more exotic flavours in 2019 that have still sold well include olive oil and salted almonds by McConnell’s; Buttermilk, Bacon and Eggs by Salt and Straw; and Honey and Cornbread Cookies, also by McConnell’s.

Go Premium or Special
Consumers today are used to having options that suit their particular needs and wants. What’s more, they are willing to pay for it. For example, there are several speciality brands that have done well by launching plant-based ice creams for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

You may wish to use or highlight the provenance of your ingredients, the way that they were produced or the fact that your ice cream is organic. These are all potentially strong selling points, with artisanal and organic products seeing strong growth.

Another niche that has been explored by some brands is ice-cream that contains alcohol. This brings its own challenges in terms of regulation and limiting your market to adults, however it can be a viable brand extension even for larger producers such as Hagen-Dazs who recently launched their Spirits range.

Create Innovative Packaging and Presentation
Ice Cream was traditionally sold in a cup. Then the ice cream cone was invented and subsequently embellished with chocolate coatings and more, swiftly followed by ice lollies being sold on sticks.

Now you can also buy ice cream in tubs, jars, boxes and more. This is before looking at toppings and different colours that can be employed to create beautiful (and instagrammable!) masterpieces.

Different packaging can be used to reinforce your brand identity. Packaging your ice cream in recyclable glass jars will add to the price, but it also lets your customers know that you care about being sustainable. For some customers, this is a huge selling point.

Think About Your Distribution Model
If you currently own an ice cream parlour, then you may wish to roll out a line that you can sell to retailers and vice versa. Or maybe you can consider an ice cream cart for events and to give you the versatility to change locations when needed. There are many viable options, each with their own merit.

Quest supplies leading ice cream makers with creative and unique flavours. We work to specification or can help our customers create unique flavours for their customers. To learn more about what we do and to talk about all things flavourful, call us on +44 198 125 1713 or send us a message.