Convenience & How to Stop the Drip

dripping ice cream cone

Ice cream is an on-the-go classic. Consumers love nothing more than to buy an ice cream cone or stick on a summer's day and savour their cool treat.

But convenience is not just about portability. Consumers today also increasingly seek to avoid mess – and to protect their hygiene in the post-Covid-19 era. A premium stick novelty ice cream that smears a phone screen, drips on clothes or spills of chocolate on the car seat can quickly lose its appeal.

For producers, one tip is to optimise the chocolate used in a product. Chocolate coatings often tend to crack. But by developing a chocolate formulation it is possible to avoid this.

"Adjusting your coating recipe makes it possible to achieve a delicious and very high-quality chocolate that is a little softer at the temperature the consumer eats the ice cream so that it will not crack and fall off," advises Tetra Pak's Innovation Manager, Per-Henrik Hansen.

Your chocolate recipe, he adds, is a vital focus area. By working with a chocolate supplier it is possible to change the chocolate's properties without affecting the taste or user experience.

Convenience is also a matter of size. A large product is more likely to melt before it is finished, but a small one or an ice cream in a cup is easier to eat without dripping or creating mess than a stick product. It may make sense to use cups for your products or to consider pouches, which have potential as an ice cream package format.

The melting conundrum can be solved by the use of emulsifiers and stabilisers to create drip-free products. But this may conflict with the concept of ice cream: it is, after all, not so much a dessert as a fun product to be consumed al fresco.

"We've seen various drip-free ice cream products for children that have not been so successful," Hansen cautions.

"At the end of the day, an ice cream should behave like an ice cream."