Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
In spite of the brouhaha surrounding it, the frozen yogurt segment has held a very small portion of the market share in the dessert industry. Despite the random popping up of the healthy frozen yogurt shops everywhere, no ice cream brand is ready to surrender and many have launched variants along the line to counter the competition posed by the frozen yogurt market. The latter on the other hand, has also played in on the healthiness aspect to cater to the more health conscious among the consumers.
As per the food and beverage industry, the frozen yogurt streak may appear to threaten the mass melting favorite, however, the ice cream brands are searching for new ways to stay competitive including reintroduction of classic flavors and providing customizable products that will gain a loyal following. However some markets did see the ice creams take a beating from the fro-yos. Interestingly though the regularly surfacing reports of the fro-yos containing artificial ingredients has worked against it.
Twisting the flavors
The food market research also revealed that the new entrants in the ice cream market, in the meantime are adding unique twist to the dessert by tapping into the local food movements, selecting from artisan quality ingredients and promoting healthier options. To cite an instance, the CVT Soft Serve launched by the USC alumnus Joe Nicchi reintroduced the soft serve ice cream to Los Angeles. While soft serve is a common ice cream, the majority of the vendors serving it have come up with a low fat version, while CVT offers creamy version that can be crowned with rainbow sprinkles, chocolate and even sea salt. All these shifts within the industry are expected to help in bouncing this variant back into the market. Moreover, many believe that frozen yogurt has finally reached its saturation point.
Switching to smaller portions
The various ice cream vendors are not denying the rapid boom in the outlets offering various treats. With the increased consumer spending and the awareness, the preferences have also undergone change. The industry is increasingly finding increased consumer demand for convenient single served portions and unique flavors. Others are being inspired and taking a cue right from frozen yogurt’s playbook. ‘Til date, the latter has survived by offering healthier portions with toppings of own choice, and being charged by weight, ice cream shops too are serving on the same model – without having a set standard for the portions or toppings.
The American company Sloan, for example is trying its level best to set itself apart from the frozen yogurt arena, however, it is not only keeping itself limited to that. Trying desperately to move away from the congested dessert area, the new stores are sensory overload for both kids and adults. The decorated shops come with variety of ice creams, candy, chocolates, baked goods and even toys. According to the study of the global food industry, since no one else does everything together as this company, they offer the customer with all possible dessert options.
Healthier options anyone?
Also being considered healthier for its ingredients of mostly fresh fruits and curdled milk, ice cream manufacturers on the other hand are also coming out with versions that include vegetables and cater to the sweet tooth of the consumers. The recent company to join this bandwagon was Haagen Dazs that announced two ice cream flavors – tomato cherry and carrot orange. Containing healthy cherry juice and tomato paste, or carrot juice and orange pulp, peel and juice, the brand wants their customers to eat their vegetables while they enjoy slurping their desserts. While others are experimenting with bolder flavors and mixing in avocado and even bacon, others are using liquid nitrogen freezing that would spark new frozen fad – who can forget the dipping dots and their colorful flavors.
This competition is however not new to the ice cream companies. The first whiff was recognized in 1980s but brands like TCBY, then enjoyed explosive growth and overcame it. Market insiders however claim that today frozen yogurts success is stronger and it actually tastes different coming across as a healthy alternative to ice cream. The food market research revealed that the extent of the competition is such that brands are hand picking all the products like vanilla beans to cream from grass-fed cows to salted caramel cooked in-house. While others are venturing into the gourmet area by producing ice cream from fresh fruits.
On the other hand, food and beverage industry found that gelato concepts are also rapidly gaining momentum, which simply means that consumers are looking forward to innovative products, and brands that offers something different.
Despite all the fad about the ice cream, gelato, sorbet or even frozen yogurt, the ‘truth’ that matters is its taste. Trends have found that ice cream remains a winner among all other dessert options and people don’t mind paying a little more for their ice popsicles. The biggest drawback however, remains in the health quotient, but experts speculate that since both dessert caters to different clientele with unique demands, both the markets are different. We are yet to see whether frozen yogurt will ultimately rule the dessert market, until then, the easily accessible and affordable ice cream is always available.
About the Author:
Aditi Biswas is a market and communication specialist working with Research on Global Markets – a company that provides insightful reports across sectors like healthcare, food and beverage industry among others. Having done an extensive food and beverage industry research, she provides insightful content about various segments of the food and beverage industry.
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