A forgotten casualty of the healthy-eating campaign of recent years has been the iced cream industry. A recent report by IBISWorld has shown that between the years of 2008 – 13 worldwide iced creams sales fell by $3.2 billion.

During this same time frozen yogurt grew at the astonishing rate of 20 – 30% a year, making fortunes in quick order.

But market analysts are believing workdwide iced creams sales are due to bounce back. In recent times many producers have switched their product lines, effectively giving up the fight against frozen yogurt. Smaller brands are carving out niche flavours and finding audiences that are all theirs. Flavours like taro and black sesame, caramelized onion with raisin caramel and walnuts are finding high end consumers prepared to pay for exotic, boutique gustatory experiences.

Tobacco iced cream. Photo: Nicoeats.com

Tobacco iced cream. Photo: Nicoeats.com

Smaller producers are finding it easier to make the switch, not having huge automated processes to reconfigure. They are also more able to explore and take risks with new combinations of flavours. Being small they are not contracted to buy in bulk and are thus able to market research new ideas without substantial investment.

Not only are many of these businesses finding new audiences, they are creating an almost maniacal loyalty. Consumers are virtual becoming virtual brand fans, eager for the next new flavours.

Already some analysts are wondering whether these businesses have created a ‘novelty bubble’. One can only wonder about the longevity of beet, goat cheese and candied pistachio iced cram or tobacco iced cream with huckleberry and chillies … but as it stands now the producers (and consumers) are living high.

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