When you think about ice cream, the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t “healthy.” After all, ice cream is basically just frozen cream and sugar with some flavoring added in. However, ice cream is finding a place in the hearts and minds of health-conscious consumers by keeping up with some of the latest trends in the food industry. Here are a few ways the classic dessert is reinventing itself.
Reduced Fat and Fat-Free
The fat in whole cream has become a concern for some consumers. Since cream is one of the main ingredients in ice cream, this has made ice cream and the kind of dessert that people watching their fat intake had to cut out. Luckily for ice-cream lovers, reduced fat and fat-free ice cream supplies are here! Fat-free ice cream is just like buying skim milk. The added fat has been removed, making the dessert easier to justify on your diet. Plus, since most of the flavor of ice cream comes from the added flavorings, reduced fat or fat-free ice cream doesn’t lose much of the taste from the original.
Low Carb and No Sugar Added
One of the biggest trends in dieting right now is low carb. That was bad news for ice cream lovers…until now. Many ice cream brands are catering to ice-cream lovers by offering a treat that can fit into their diet goals. With the rise of options like the Ketogenic diet, people are looking for ways to reduce their sugar and carbohydrate intake. Finding ways to flavor ice cream without adding a bunch of sugar is essential to holding onto a very important piece of the market.
Lactose-Free Ice Cream
If you’re lactose-intolerant then you probably thought that you could never enjoy ice cream again, right? Think again! Lactose-free ice cream is one of the fastest-growing segments in the market. Made using lactose-free cream and milk, this ice cream is a treat that can be enjoyed by anyone – no sore stomach necessary! Just like lactose-free milk and other dairy products, ice cream is making its foray into the lactose-free market with a big push. No lactose? No problem!
Dieting isn’t all about cutting out the treats. In fact, many diets say that it’s important to reward yourself and enjoy a treat every now and then. However, a tub of ice cream can quickly turn from a small treat into a big, diet-breaking mistake. Single-serving cups of ice cream are helping dieters and health-conscious consumers by making it easy to track calories. No more measuring and guessing… Just look at the container, determine if the calories fit into today’s diet, and then eat the whole thing! The smaller size makes it impossible to take in extra calories. With a normal tub of ice cream the temptation to go for that extra scoop is too much for some people. Single-serving containers take away the temptation completely!
Everyone knows that dairy products are a great source of calcium. However, we don’t often think of ice cream as being a food that can help us reach our health goals. That may be changing with ice cream brands offering products with added nutrients like calcium. Since calcium is important in maintaining bone health, many older people may prefer to reach for foods that are high in calcium. Offering ice cream with added calcium makes choosing a treat at the grocery store a whole lot easier!
Ice cream itself is usually not something that contains gluten. However, some of the flavors that are added can contain gluten. Since the gluten-free market is one of the fastest-growing food markets, offering guaranteed gluten-free products is important. Marking that designation clearly on the packaging makes it easier for people with gluten sensitivity to choose the product that’s right for them. It’s expected that the gluten-free market will continue to grow over the next few years, so it’s important for brands to get on board and support the trend.
Sometimes You Just Have to Indulge
Of course, even with all of the healthy options, ice cream is still a treat. Consumers know this and many consider ice cream to be something they can enjoy in spite of its less-than-amazing health benefits. To that end, ice-cream manufacturers have to be careful not to completely ignore the segment of the market that wants a premium-tasting product without concern for health. After all, a treat is called a treat for a reason.