It’s a known fact that sales of comfort foods like potato chips, cookies and ice cream usually increase during a recession. But the recession is over (it is over, right?), which means ice cream manufacturers are pretty happy about recent findings that ice cream consumption is up two percent at U.S. foodservice outlets in the year ending April 2012.
In addition to the sales spike, Nation’s Restaurant News also reports that unusual flavors are on the rise, although vanilla and chocolate will always reign supreme. Among the top 10 highest growth flavors in 2012 are fruity options like mango (#2), lemon (#3) and peach (#4). Pomegranate (#8) and watermelon (#9) also make appearances. Peanut butter tops the list.
According to the article, “Offering flavors outside the traditional realm of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry is a way to appeal to a diverse cross section of consumers, particularly during the summer.”
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re on a mission to find this elusive watermelon ice cream. We’ve heard rumors of its availability at a diner in Tallahassee, but those reports are unconfirmed.
MARKETING LESSON: The recession may be over, but that hasn’t slowed the public’s appetite for indulgent foods … and indulgent flavors.