Healthy eating is a worldwide trend and modern consumers are constantly on the lookout for healthier alternatives. People who seek healthy lifestyles increasingly choose foods with natural functionality that allows them to achieve their wellness goals.
Ice cream is no exception. Developing better-for-you recipes is already on many producers' strategic radar. The challenge is to create products that are healthier without compromising on ice cream's beloved taste and texture.
So can ice cream be an indulgent AND healthy treat? The answer is yes!
One way is to add healthy ingredients, such as fruit and protein.
"It is possible to create very appealing products with high fruit content and which can be fairly low in calories. There are a lot of possibilities here," according to Tetra Pak's Innovation Manager, Per-Henrik Hansen.
Fortification with pre-or probiotics to ice cream, or switching from dairy to plant-based milks, can create varieties that are better for gut health. The addition of protein can transform ice cream from a guilty treat into an appealing post-exercise reward.
The important aspect is not to compromise too hard on indulgence, said Hansen. After all, 45 percent of frozen treat consumers in the US say that ice cream is their favourite indulgence.
"Indulgence is the essence of ice cream. Without it, you might as well eat something else," Hansen points out.
But, he adds, "ice cream can be indulgent and rich, but it can be also indulgent and refreshing – and refreshing and health go well together".
Many healthy ingredients require specialist competence and thorough testing. Speaking to an expert supplier is the best route to developing products that fit your vision for the segment.