Vanilla Remains Top Ice Cream Flavor with Americans

Vanilla wins the popular vote among Americans as the favorite ice cream flavor for a second year in a row, and premium ice cream is a top seller while frozen yogurt posts a steady increase in demand. These are a few of the findings from the second annual survey of International Ice Cream Association (IICA) member companies, which make and distribute an estimated 85 percent of the ice cream and frozen dessert products consumed in the United States.

According to the companies participating in the survey, the top three flavors are vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan, with coffee, Neapolitan and Rocky Road tied for fourth place.

“From the rich, creaminess of a scoop of vanilla-bean premium ice cream to the convenience of a perfectly portion-controlled ice cream confection, our member companies are making a wide-range of flavors and product types that allow consumers to choose the treat that appeals to them,” said Peggy Armstrong, vice president of communications for the International Dairy Foods Association. “Ice cream is a fun and nutritious food that fits into almost every lifestyle.”

Premium ice cream, which has a lower amount of aeration and a higher fat content than regular ice cream, is the most popular variety with consumers, according to the survey. Nearly 70 percent cited premium ice cream as the most popular product, followed by regular ice cream, which contains at least 10 percent milkfat, and novelties. Novelties are defined as separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks.

In addition, approximately 50 percent said they are seeing increased demand for frozen yogurt, and nearly 15 percent reported an increased demand for no-sugar-added ice cream.

In addition to flavors, the survey also asked about popular additions to ice cream, such as fruits, nuts, candies and other ingredients. The majority of companies said that pecans are the most popular nut, followed by almonds and peanuts. Eighty-six percent of companies said that strawberry was the most popular fruit topping, with cherry coming in second.

Among companies offering novelties, the ice cream sandwich and ice-cream-on-a-stick tied as the most popular. Bars, push-ups, four-ounce tubes and mini-cups are also popular products, according to the survey. For companies with dipping locations, it doesn’t matter how they serve it; cups, sugar cones and waffles cones are all popular. Hot fudge, sprinkles and nuts proved to be the most popular toppings.

National Ice Cream Month

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Source: International Dairy Foods Association

Gourmet Burgers

The Burgers

The Menu

The Restaurant – Ellis Gourmet Burger, Brussel, Belgium

The Right Snack May Aid Satiety, Weight Loss

While many of us might think of snacking as a guilty pleasure, the right type of snack can play a role in weight loss by contributing to a feeling of fullness or satiety, that in turn may reduce the amount of food we eat at subsequent meals and limit overall food consumption. This is the point made by Re, Leatherhead, England, during a session at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Expo.

“Appetite control is an area of weight management that is receiving increased attention as the food industry aims to provide consumers with foods that will keep them fuller for longer, reducing inter-meal hunger and overall energy intake,,” said Roberta Re, Ph.D., nutrition research manager, Leatherhead Food Research, Surrey, England.

While the amount, frequency and types of snacks consumed in the U.S. and throughout the world continues to contribute to the obesity epidemic, some snacks, such as peanuts, nuts, and other high-fiber snacks, may limit overall daily food consumption.

Re referenced a study in which participants who regularly consumed almonds as a mid-morning snack reported increased feelings of satiety “resulting in a reduced energy intake at lunch and dinner with no increase in overall calorie intake. In another study, participants’ overall daily intake was lowered after they received a regular portion of cereal as a snack each day for six weeks.

Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., principal , Corvus Blue, LLC, Chicago, said that food manufacturers are working to meet consumer needs for savory, satisfying snacks that also are healthy.

“You can make something just as delicious with a greater mixture of ingredients,” said Shelke. “You can also increase quantity while limiting energy density. The satiety lasts longer and there’s no penalty for enjoyment.”

When formulating healthier snack options food product developers should consider mouth feel and texture in addition to ingredients and take note of growing product categories such as nutrition or energy bars.

Source: Institute of Food Technologists

Luscious Chocolate Pops

Ingredients

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups half-and-half

Method

  1. Place chocolate, sugar, cinnamon and cayenne in a heat-proof bowl. Bring half-and-half to a simmer over medium heat in a small pan. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into ice pop moulds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
  3. To release pops, run hot water over the outsides of the moulds for a few seconds, than gently pull the sticks.

Source: Perfect Pops

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