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Nobody needs a reason to enjoy ice cream, but it never hurts to give them one. That's why operators across the nation are using the summer's most popular occasions to craft signature ice cream desserts for takeout and delivery that line up perfectly with the calendar. Occasion-specific ice cream treats get even more seasonal when chefs incorporate the best that summer has to offer in terms of produce, from traditional watermelon to fresh cherries to just-shucked sweet corn. It's just a matter of finding the right seasonal angle to capture your customers' attention.
The Fourth of July lends itself perfectly to timely ice cream desserts that proudly display patriotic splashes of red, white and blue. Create a signature layered sundae using vanilla ice cream as your base of white and rely on mixed berries for the blue and the red as in-between layers. You can craft your own sauces from strawberries and raspberries or layer in ripe blueberries for a burst of market-fresh flavor. Using a layered format also allows operators to create and freeze the product ahead of time, maximizing back-of-house efficiency and offering greater temperature flexibility in both takeout and delivery options. Layered desserts offer exciting visual appeal and fun textural options, each of which drives sales. Market research firm Mintel discovered that new textures are the top driver for consumers to try new frozen desserts.1
Another timely angle to explore? Grilling season! For a fun flavor pairing, try adding grilled and smoked flavors to your ice cream creations. Think bread pudding made from grilled bread with creamy ice cream and smoked cherries on top or an ice-cream-laden fruit crisp with grilled peaches and nectarines. Tying the flavors of an end-of-summer barbecue to your takeout dessert menu gives customers an opportunity to get even more excited for their events as they say goodbye to summer.
For an instant boost in dessert revenue, think of the season creatively to put ice cream top of mind. The more you're able to match the occasion, the more customers are likely to get into the festive spirit and indulge in your creation. The best part is, there's no reason to go beyond what you already offer. Take your existing ice cream treats and incorporate seasonality to create new instant favorites that are timely, fresh and completely delicious.
1Mintel “US Frozen Novelties and Ice Cream Report,” May 2019.