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The Future Is Now - Food Finds

Ice Cream! Often thought of as a summer treat (unless you are in Italy...Gelato is an everyday treat!) Recently innovation around DIY and unexpected flavors as driven innovation.

Ketchup Ice Cream???: Heinz – saw a 24.7% US sales uplift during the initial lockdown period (Bank of America, 2020) – to keep Heinz top of mind for consumers, they lead an ice cream-themed UK campaign.

Shoppers could purchase a limited-edition canister containing a bottle of one of five popular sauces (ketchup, mayonnaise, salad cream, BBQ sauce and Saucy Sauce), alongside directions for a no-churn ice cream incorporating the condiment. Despite the atypical savory-sweet recipes, the campaign enticed consumers with the promise of a fun DIY kitchen experiment.

Shifting mind set: US hard seltzer brand Truly kicked off summer by partnering with with Tipsy Scoop to offer a line of spiked sorbets. Targeting this summer for further spotlight on hard seltzer .... no need to make a boozy treat when you can get one at your finger tips!

UK dessert company Pleesecakes enters the frozen category with its line Freezecakes, which swaps the brand’s signature cakes for ice cream-style pints of frozen cheesecake loaded with mix-ins. The product is intended to be scooped rather than sliced, positioning cheesecake as an ice cream alternative and regular treat.

Plant Based and Pantry Staples: It’s no secret Plant-based eating is on the rise and momentum has been building during the pandemic – in part due to food shortages and perceived health benefits. In addition, many consumers have had to make find ways to make their budget stretch with emphasis on pantry staples. Loading pantries will be a habit that endures post-pandemic for 64% of US consumers (PWC). These conditions are making consumers receptive to exploration and twists on pantry staples.

In the UK where 1 in 5 consumers is considering plant-based eating (Among Brits, 74% say they want to lead healthier lives - Food Navigator). Nestle is releasing a plant-based version of sweetened condensed milk. The oat-based ingredient enables everything from no-churn ice cream to dulce de leche to gel with vegan diets.

We have seen tremendous innovation in Food. How we eat, what we eat and how we get the food we eat. Brands have leaned into helping the consumer cook at home across the spectrum from high end chefs offering digital instruction to creating par-baked signature dishes to be completed at home. We have seen producers offer new flavors, new packaging more sustainable and more “useable” (think sour cream in a tube!). What is inspiring here is that we all have to eat and we were going to eat regardless of the innovation that has come from the food industry - what’s exciting is that the innovation has been so wide spread. What can other industries learn from this way of thinking? All market sectors have been impacted by the pandemic - now is the time to let go of the past and truly innovate!

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