Frozen Treats Becoming Increasingly Creative

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There are few things as satisfying as creative frozen treats after a Sunday lunch or a romantic dinner date. It is the proverbial cherry on top of the meal and the experience.

However, these creative frozen treats have come a long way during the last couple of years, and we are being spoiled for choice. Back in the day, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with some chocolate or caramel sauce was enough to satisfy anyone.

Vanilla is not the top dog anymore. Today, when you walk into a grocery store, you are bombarded with a variety of ice cream flavors, but it isn’t just the ice cream that you now have to choose from. There is a myriad of other treats available. The choices make it almost difficult to decide on dessert.

The Facts and Figures

Creative frozen treats haven’t become so diverse because people are bored and want to try new things because they don’t have anything better to do. In the US alone ice cream is a $1.3 billion industry in the convenience channel alone. That is not to speak about superstores, restaurants, and retail. It makes up over 1% of convenience stores’ overall revenue.

This figure could increase even further if space was not such an issue. Retailers are forced to give the lion’s share of the floor and freezer space to big brands and top sellers. If space were not an issue, lesser known brands and treats would get an equal chance on the floor, and the range of products would go beyond ice cream and include cups, frozen yogurts, ice milk products, and other dairy desserts to name a few.

The other factor that influences sales is the temperature. The winter months in Minnesota are particularly static as customers prefer a hot beverage to a cold snack. This means that the retailers have to make sure the warmer months count. Therefore, the retail space in convenience stores are dominated with top brands and in some cases, local brands who have garnered a reputation in town.

Taking the facts and into account, one can see that there is a market to be tapped into which many chefs and connoisseurs have already done. Over the past two decades, there have been some interesting creations that have sparked more creations and more interest.

The Good Stuff

Although frozen treats have been around for a long time, there has not been a time where the range of new creations has been so widely explored as today. Ice cream and other creative frozen treats now come in new flavors, textures, colors and the ingredients that they are mixed with also seem to increase by the day.

Scott Nghiem wasn’t lying when he said that food is good, but that dessert is better. Desserts aren’t only tasty, they represent the fun side of food. The normal rules of food pairing don’t apply, and the creator’s imagination is the only thing that limits new creations. Today’s concoctions are often mixed with local, natural and other seasonal ingredients which gives them an artisanal touch.

Apart from the ingredient1s, there are some who resort to culinary innovation and with the help of social media like Instagram. Their creations are colorful and look amazing, perfect for the visual appetite of the new generations.

The last two decades have brought about creations such as sundaes, milkshakes and ice creams with a mix of sweet and salty notes. The more adventurous creators have even ventured into the savory side of things and have incorporated veggies, herbs, spices, alcohol and, in rare instances, even meat.

Another way in which the creative frozen treats have been expanded is with the help of baked goods. Afters Ice Cream created the Milky Bun which is a donut-like bun that is filled with a scoop of one of seven flavors of ice cream. What makes this treat so unique is the way the ice cream is kept cool in a warm bun.

The LA-based Dolly Llama is another enterprise that makes use of baked waffles to create their treats. Gone are the traditional crunchy cones and in comes the Hong-Kong originated bubble waffle. This billowy waffle is formed into a cone, and a scoop of one of their eight flavors are added. To top things off, a range of syrups and other toppings are added as per request from the customers.

For Churned Creamery’s secret weapon is the CroCream. It by far their most popular item and there is no guessing why. The CroCream is a fresh butter croissant that is filled with one of 16 different ice creams that are churned daily. The treat is topped with amazing sauces and other toppings to make it that extra little bit special.

The Creamistry is more of a novelty ice cream parlor where technology is used to make dense and handcrafted ice cream in minutes. In using liquid nitrogen, they can customize the ice cream to the specifications of the customer and add the desired ingredients as the needs of the customers dictate.

There is arguably no other ice cream parlor that can create the same personal experience than the Creamistry. The process is visually stimulating, and the customers are fascinated as their ice cream is made in front of their eyes.

Culturally diverse ice creams are also making waves. Thai ice cream is one such favorite that is flattened and rolled out a slab of ice cream that is put in a cup with extra toppings. The ice cream is thick and almost chewy, but well worth a try. The Mexican paletas or fruit bars are also gaining ground and oozes colorful delight.

La Michoacana Premium is one of the favorite establishments that make superb paletas. Mixing dozens of flavors of water and ice paletas and adding any of their 73 flavors of ice cream that are on rotation.

The Verdict

It is clear to see that creative frozen treats are here to stay and before long, you will have a problem in deciding how you are going to spend your dessert.

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