It’s no secret that ice cream and other frozen treats are a favorite among many. They are staple items in many households, regardless of the season — up to 90% of households regularly have frozen treats stocked. Of course, this popularity has led to a diverse market. Ice cream, of course, is the traditional favorite, while other treats, like gelato cups and frozen yogurt cups, represent the trendier options that are available. Currently, there are three major players in the frozen treat market:
- We all scream for ice cream! Each year, there are 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream and similar desserts produced in the United States, and the average American eats ice cream 28.5 times per year. Many supermarkets dedicate the majority of an aisle to the many different brands and flavors of this common indulgence. Ice cream parlors, complete with tasting spoons for the undecided customer and a wide variety of cone/bowl options with every purchase, are popular hangout spots in many urban and suburban areas.
- Frozen yogurt was one of the first products to steal a corner of this ice cream market. In just a few years, there was a dramatic increase in the number of frozen yogurt options available in the freezer section at supermarkets, as well as the number of standalone stores dedicated to serving custom frozen yogurt cups with a wide variety of topping choices. By the end of 2013, there were more than 2,500 frozen yogurt stores operating across the U.S.
- Even more recently, the sales of gelato have been skyrocketing. What’s behind the rise? For one thing, gelato is creamier in texture and richer in taste than frozen yogurt, yet it still only contains 3% to 8% milkfat. Plus, gelato only contains between 25% and 30% air after being churned, whereas ice cream’s air content is generally 50% or higher. Gelato cups are thus touted as being a more luxurious indulgence than their more traditional frozen treat counterparts.
No matter which version you prefer, any lover of frozen treats is part of a majority in the U.S. With the vast array of options that have taken root, there’s a flavor out there to please anyone!