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Flavour innovation in OOH ice cream market
Research released earlier this week (10 September) reveals that 'weird and wonderful' ice cream flavours are driving uptake in the out of home (OOH) market in the UK.
New figures, from premium brand Amore di Gelato, shows that consumers are increasingly turning off from ‘traditional’ flavours – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry – and embracing ‘unusual flavours’.
Operators and chefs from dozens of leading hotels, gastropubs and restaurants across the country were interviewed to reveal ‘on the ground’ insights into perceptions and sales of ice cream in the high-end OOH market. Over 70% claimed that flavours such as grape and salted caramel were by far and away more popular than classic ice cream flavours.
The research also showed that dessert consumption was up, with almost 85% of those questioned claiming that ice cream was bought by more than half of all diners. A small number (15%) of those questioned claimed that desserts were purchased by at least 80% of customers, indicating that diners are increasingly indulging when eating out.
Managing Director of Amore di Gelato, Mike Godwin, said the research had wide-reaching potential for the hospitality industry, adding: “The perception that diners are too health conscious to indulge in dessert is actually slightly skewed; our experience shows that consumers very much enjoy dessert but aren’t willing to spend money on low-quality products.
“Now our research backs this up. The numbers clearly show that offering exciting, modern versions of a classic concept will help dessert sales. This is a key opportunity for operators, who can use this information to develop their desserts sales numbers – an area that can typically offer excellent returns.”
The other emerging trend revealed by the research was a ‘maturation’ of ice cream consumption, as dishes with an alcoholic-twist were boosting sales for a number of high-end establishments. These varied across the country, with northern hotels and pubs serving up the likes of ‘stout’ ice cream, while southern consumers preferred flavours like Amoretti Amaretto.
Despite a clear bend towards unusual flavours, high-quality vanilla ice cream was cited as a top seller in a number of hotels and restaurants, showing there is still room for the classics.
The research revealed the flavours listed below to be the most popular across a section of hotels, restaurants and gastropubs:
- Almond Milk
- Jersey Black Butter
- Mango Sorbet
- Seasonal fresh fruit
- Salted Caramel
- Malted milk
- Clotted cream
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