I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for...

By Kim O'Brien

Well, you know the rest. But it turns out that in 2011, people really did clamor for ice cream. In fact, a just-released market report revealed that ice cream and frozen dessert sales topped $25.1 billion in 2011, up 2.4% over the previous year. The increase breaks a 2-year spell of flat sales.

According to the market report released from Packaged Facts, foodservice accounted for 57% of overall sales while retail sales rounded out the rest. Within the retail mass market, packaged ice cream is the largest category, accounting for 55% of total retail sales, followed by frozen novelties at 36%.

So why the upturn in frozen treat consumption? Theories range from the surge in frozen yogurt popularity to the stagnant economy. That's right – the recession might actually be stirring sweet tooth's nationwide. Ice cream, reports Packaged Facts, is the perfect treat for "economic downturn-weary Americans wanting to indulge without breaking the bank."

With summer on the horizon, there's no better time to capitalize on the increasing popularity of frozen treats in your ice cream parlor, dessert shop, or restaurant. The WEBStaurant Store has got the scoop on all the trends, ingredients, and products you need!

Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Toasted Coconut Flakes - 10 lbs.
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Fineline Tiny Temptations 6501WHT 4 inch Tiny Tasters White Plastic Tasting Spoon 960 / Case

Boasting low fat and probiotic properties, frozen yogurt might just be the hottest – er, coolest – trend to hit the market. In fact, the fastest dollar growth came from the frozen yogurt / tofu specialty segment. But consumers don't want plain ol' vanilla. They're craving unconventional flavors like green tea and cran-raspberry. Appease your adventurous (and health-savvy) customers with these unique toppings from the WEBStaurant Store:

Dessert Shots

Following the diet-conscious dessert trend, customers are opting for mini-portioned "dessert shots." An annual National Restaurant Association survey ranked bite-size/mini desserts at number 4 in its What’s Hot overall menu trends for 2010.

  • To put your mini morsels on full display, check out our new Tiny Temptations line of tasting spoons, bowls, and trays!

A Classic Never Goes out of Style

Sure, fro-yo and sampler shots are on the rise. But don't rule out the classics quite yet. The Food Channel recently lauded ice cream floats, sundaes and sandwiches on their list of trendy dessert contenders. By promoting old-fashioned favorites, retailers and food service providers are expanding business "by creating and marketing products that speak to consumers on an emotional level," notes Packaged Facts.

In today's market of frozen treat franchises, patrons have become accustomed to a buffet-like selection of ice cream and fro-yo toppings. Whether you're catering to the candy topping client or the hot fudge sundae devotee, we've got the ingredients to satisfy any sweet tooth! From soft serve mixes to waffle bowls, the WEBStaurant Store has all the frozen treat products you need – right down to the sprinkles (or jimmies, if you will).

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