This summer’s ice cream trends

With summer in full swing (allegedly!), consumers are increasingly indulging in a cooling ice cream as they enjoy the intermittent appearances of sunshine.

However, despite its place as a perennial summertime favourite, consumer trends are always evolving, with the tastes that defined last year’s summer months perhaps no longer in vogue in 2023.

This is why, at Meadow Inclusions, we’re constantly working behind the scenes to stay on top of trends. In this blog we explore our Ice Cream Playbook and examine the trends that we found are dominating the market, from novel nostalgia to new experiences.


Novel nostalgia

Amid continuing difficult economic circumstances, consumers are looking for sources of comfort from time to time and this can often be sought in nostalgia-based foods.

When it comes to ice cream, novel nostalgia flavours are really turning the heads of consumers as they can fuse memories of childhood or happy times with the excitement of a new taste sensation.

For customers looking to put a modern twist on a classic dessert, Meadow Inclusions’ range of inclusions are the ideal solution.

Our delicious meringue fat coated inclusions are an excellent addition to any ice cream and can bring the flavours and texture of the classic Eton Mess dessert to a summertime favourite.

Meanwhile, the much-loved, moreish speculoos is really trending as a flavour within the ice cream market this summer, with the retro biscuit adding a novelty factor to this cooling sweet treat.

The popularity of speculoos-flavoured ice cream has illustrated the rise of this trend and Meadow Inclusions’ tailored fat-coated caramel biscuit bites can be used to bring the feel and essence of speculoos to ice cream.


Exciting new flavour combinations

One of the most prominent trends we are seeing across the food industry, but particularly in the ice cream market, is consumer interest in combining flavours that traditionally would’ve been deemed to be diametrically opposed.

Take sweet and heat for example, this trend is increasingly catching the attention of consumers in ice cream products following a more frequent deployment of this combination in sweet categories.

Chilli and chocolate appear to be among the most prominent of the sweet and heat duos, with the tried and tested combination seemingly revolutionising the traditional chocolate ice cream flavour.

Meadow Inclusions’ chocolate fudge cubes and popping candy inclusions help to elevate this flavour combination and create an even more exciting ice cream experience for consumers.

It may already be a staple combination but swalty, or sweet and salty, is continuing its growth as a popular flavour among consumers in a number of markets but especially ice cream.

This combination has proved a hit for a whole host of different brands and and our fat-coated fudge inclusions work perfectly as part of a salty and sweet duo.


Enhanced experience

Consumers love nothing more than being entertained through a multi-sensory experience that can beguile and excite them. In fact, according to Innova 3 in 5 consumers across the globe are interested in trying new sensory experiences.

Food that looks sublime as well as just tasting sublime is becoming increasingly important as a means of connecting with a younger audience, who are taking more of an interest in a product’s aesthetics.

Whether through format combinations or unexpected ingredients, there’s always room to upgrade the experience and bring a smile to people’s faces.

Interestingly, mixology holds the key to getting ahead in the ice cream market as most consumers are said to be interested in trying a cocktail/mocktail made with ice cream.

Passionfruit martini, for example, is proving to be very popular among consumers as an ice cream flavour. Our white chocolate coated biscuit pieces and a popping candy sparkle can make for a fabulous multi-sensory experience.



Whether down to dietary requirements or personal choice, consumers are increasingly looking to the free-from market, but crucially heightened expectations means that these days they don’t want to have to compromise on taste.

Over the last few years, the plant-based market has grown exponentially with vegan products becoming increasingly prominent in supermarkets and restaurants across the country.

Increased consumer appetite for non-dairy options in the category has seen innovative launches from niche and mainstream brands, with new flavours and inclusions accelerating interest and driving new consumer demand.

Our plant-based Fudj, is a great plant-based alternative to traditional caramel products and the perfect carrier for flavour and colour in non-dairy ice creams.

In addition, our dark chocolate salted pretzel inclusions add a tasty crunch to dairy-free salted caramel ice creams to provide free-from consumers with a multi-sensory experience.


High quality products all year round

At Meadow Inclusions, we have a vast array of inclusions that can be tailored to meet the needs of our customers. Tell us the colour, size, flavour, and texture you require and whether you wish your inclusions to be barrier coated or uncoated – we will provide the solution.

With our specialist technologies in place, we’ll make sure that your inclusions remain stable, whatever the application.

If you would like to discover more about Meadow Inclusions, and sample our ingredients, you can do so by contacting our customer service team. Or keep up to date on the latest industry and company news on our LinkedIn.

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