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Fruit Flavors Take Top Honors At Innovative Ice Cream Contest

IDFA innovative ice cream contest participants
Tom Imbordino, Dairy Foods; Michael Hengelsberg, Concord Foods; Duane Wittlief, Kemps; Dallas Vaughn, Wells Enterprises; Ron Renati, Albertsons Cos.; Cary Frye, IDFA; Robin Waite, Perry's Ice Cream; Kelly German, Baskin-Robbins; Steve McGowan, SensoryEffects Flavor Systems; Nicole McKinnell, Baskin-Robbins; Anahita Seth, Dunkin' Brands; Amy Vodraska, Dairy Foods.

Several fruity flavors of ice cream—either newly introduced or yet to be released—captured the attention of judges at the International Dairy Foods Association‘s (IDFA) annual Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition in Fort Myers, Florida, with the favorites earning first-place finishes in all three categories.

Signature Reserve Brazilian Guava Cheesecake ice cream, Spicy Mango Raspberry Fiesta ice cream and the Pomegranate and Sweet Potato Medley Bar were named the most innovative ice cream products at the competition, co-sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine. The contest, held each year during IDFA’s Ice Cream Technology Conference, showcases the creativity of U.S. ice cream makers and flavorings suppliers and captures upcoming flavor trends in the ice cream and frozen dessert industry.

“Fruit was the name of the game in this year’s contest, and contestants showed off their expert ability to pair fresh, tropical fruits with almost anything, including spices, vegetables and decadent deserts,” said Cary Frye, IDFA SVP of regulatory affairs. “Ice creams featuring cookie doughs and butters, as well as salty nuts, were also highly favored flavors in this year’s lineup.”

This year’s conference set records for the number of entries in the competition, as well as for attendance. More than 160 ice cream industry professionals attended the event, where they tasted, judged and selected the winners from a record total of 40 flavor entries.

“We are thrilled to be involved with the conference and to have been a long-time sponsor of the Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition. We look forward to this every year as it’s one of the best events in the dairy industry,” said Tom Imbordino, publisher of Dairy Foods.

Amy Vodraska, associate publisher of Dairy Foods, said “This is where the industry comes to network, discuss new trends and technologies and look for opportunities for growth. The continued robust success of the conference and the competition shows how well both fulfill ice cream professionals’ needs.”

Frye, Imbordino and Vodraska presented the awards in three categories: most innovative ice cream flavors, most innovative prototype flavors and most innovative novelties.

Most innovative ice cream flavors

Signature Reserve Brazilian Guava Cheesecake ice cream, entered by Albertsons Cos., earned first place in the most innovative ice cream flavor category with its sweet-and-sour, super-premium cheesecake ice cream balanced with ribbons of tart guava puree and bites of cheesecake crust pieces.

Second place honors went to Baskin-Robbins’ Blackberry Hibiscus, a blackberry ice cream swirled with a blackberry-hibiscus ice and held together with a blackberry ribbon.

Cookie Butter ice cream, submitted by Wells Enterprises Inc., earned third place in this category. This ice cream features the flavor of a spiced shortbread cookie, known as speculoos, and includes cinnamon-graham and speculoos-caramel swirls and speculoos cookie dough chunks.

Most innovative prototype flavors

Spicy Mango Raspberry Fiesta ice cream was named the most innovative prototype flavor. It is a mango and red-pepper ice cream with a sweet swirl of raspberry. This flavor was submitted by SensoryEffects Flavor Systems, which manufactures and supplies custom flavor-delivery systems.

Billionaire Bar, a peanut butter ice cream with a salted-caramel swirl, brownies and buttery short bread, earned second place. It was submitted by MD Enterprises Inc., a flavoring development and marketing company that serves the dairy, baking and beverage industries.

Nuts Over Kettle Corn ice cream, an ice cream prototype with a kettle corn base, buttery salted-caramel variegate and praline pecan pieces, took third place. It was submitted by Concord Foods LLC, a supplier of retail food products and custom ingredients to supermarkets, food service operators and food manufacturers.

Most innovative novelties

Pomegranate and Sweet Potato Medley Bar, submitted by Perry’s Ice Cream Co. Inc., took top honors in the most innovative novelty category. It’s a frozen dessert bar made with real fruit and vegetable juice.

Salted Caramel Pecan Load’d Sundaes by Wells Enterprises Inc., took second place. This treat is a vanilla-flavored ice cream with salted-caramel and fudge swirls, pecans and chocolatey sea-salt caramel bunnies in a grab-and-go cup.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich, submitted by Kemps LLC, took third place. It is a vanilla-flavored ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough pieces sandwiched between two chocolate wafers.

The Ice Cream Technology Conference is the only meeting that focuses specifically on ice cream and frozen dessert research, technology, new market trends, food safety, labeling and marketing opportunities, says IDFA. The 2019 conference will be held April 16-17 at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida.

IDFA, based in Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry. It is the umbrella organization for the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA).

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