Kemps, Baskin-Robbins, Blue Bunny, Beyond Better Foods and many other companies were awarded for innovative ice cream flavors at this year’s Ice Cream Contest at the Ice Cream Technology Conference presented by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
Bourbon, berries with brandy, chocolate mudslide, cinnamon bun and bananas dominated the pack, according to IDFA, whose competition brings together new and soon-to-be-released flavors from small and large U.S. ice cream makers and flavorings suppliers. It has become a place for companies to test bold and unique flavors.
The 2019 contest was held during the conference, which was April 16-17 at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida. It attracted more than 145 ice cream industry professionals and 35 flavor entries over the two-day event—including two dairy-free frozen desserts from Beyond Better Foods and Kerry that took home the top honors.
“This year’s contest really wowed us with a mix of sweet and savory, combining liqueurs with candy crumbles and spices, and bakery flavors like cobbler, French toast, cookies and pie crust,” said Cary Frye, IDFA SVP of regulatory affairs. “We’re so proud of how IDFA’s Ice Cream Tech has become a celebration of America’s most beloved frozen treats and a window into the innovation and creativity happening in U.S. dairy today.”
Frye and Kathie Canning, editor-in-chief of Dairy Foods, presented awards in three categories: Most Innovative Ice Cream Flavor; Most Innovative Ice Cream Novelty; and Most Innovative Ice Cream Prototype.
Most innovative ice cream flavor
There were seven winners in this category.
First place: Kemps, Scotcheroo—inspired by the much-loved homemade cookie bar treat, it features swirls of peanut butter, oatmeal cookie chunks, and chocolate fudge chunks in a butterscotch ice cream.
Second place: Baskin-Robbins Dunkin’ Brands, Bourbon Street Pecan Pie—featuring bourbon butter pecan flavored ice cream with roasted pecans, pie crust pieces and a bourbon caramel flavored swirl.
Third place: Hudsonville Ice Cream, Hazelnut Cinnamon Bun—cinnamon bun flavored ice cream swirled with a ribbon of rich hazelnut fudge and sweet cinnamon bun pieces.
Others recognized: Perry’s Ice Cream, Oats Cream Snickerdoodle; Publix Super Markets Inc., Irish Creme Salted Caramel; Tillamook County Creamery Association, Sea Salt & Honeycomb Toffee Frozen Custard; and Wells Enterprises/Blue Bunny, Chocolate Donut.
Most innovative ice cream novelty
Five entrants were honored in this category.
First place: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Chocolate Mudslide Waffle Cone Sandwich—rich chocolate ice cream made with dark chocolate fudge chips and a thick fudge ripple is placed between two crisp chocolate waffle cone cookies.
Second place: Wells Enterprises/Blue Bunny, PB Mallow Mania Loaded Sundae—a sundae cup of peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter and marshmallow swirls, peanuts, chocolaty peanut butter and marshmallow bunnies.
Third place: Beyond Better Foods, Dairy Free Monkey Business—made with “almond milk” to create a banana frozen dessert with swirls of peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Others recognized were Kemps for its Unicorn Swirl IttiBitz and Perry’s Ice Cream for Blueberry Grape Yo Buddies.
Most innovative prototype flavor
In the most popular category for participants, judges this year recognized 23 unique flavors.
First place: Kerry, Bramble Brandy Crumble—a hybrid frozen dessert made with half dairy and half oat-based dairy alternative, flavored with dairy-free pie crumble dough, Madagascar vanilla, and a blackberry variegate infused with brandies.
Second place: Sensient Flavors, Brown Butter Banana French Toast—banana French toast flavored ice cream with a brown butter flavored variegate and French toast pieces.
Third place: MD Enterprises Inc., Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookie Crunch—chocolate ice cream with a caramel variegate and pecan and chocolate chip pieces.
Others recognized: Agrana Fruit US, Lavender Berry Bliss; Balchem/Sensory Effects, Belgian Chocolate Irish Cream Crunch; Baskin-Robbins|Dunkin’ Brands, Waffle Cone Crunch; Clasen Quality Chocalate, Espresso Myself; Concord Foods, Breakfast for Dessert (Maple French Toast); Denali Ingredients, Strawberry Graham Forever (oat based non-dairy frozen dessert); FONA International, Chocolate Irish Stout; Fruitcrown Products Corp., Orange Ya Nuts!; Gertrude Hawk, Churro; Hudsonville Ice Cream, Fruity Breakfast Cereal; Jogue Inc., Molten Sea Salt Chocolate with Siracha Variegate; Kemps, Adulting is Hard…Let’s be Mermaids!; Kerry, Bramble Brandy Crumble; Mane Inc., Hot Honey Crunch; Parker Products, Tin Cup Whiskey Cake; Pecan Deluxe Candy Co., Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownie; Perry’s Ice Cream, Just Dill With It; Publix Super Markets, Cookie Butter Crème; Rhino Foods, Spoonbreaker; Star Kay White, Sun, Surf and HoneyCombs (the beaches)!; and Synergy Flavors, Magical Cereal Milk.
According to IDFA, the Ice Cream Technology Conference is the only meeting that focuses specifically on innovations in frozen dessert research, technology and new market trends. It provides opportunities to learn from experts on food safety, labeling and regulations that affect the ice cream and frozen dessert industry. This year’s program featured talks such as, “Why Are Consumers Craving Plant-based Diets?” and “Challenges and Strategies for Formulating Plant-based Frozen Desserts.” Legal experts also covered the “FDA Policy and Pathway for Cannabidiol (CBD) in Foods and Ice Cream,” along with a food safety focus on “Control of Listeria in Ice Cream Manufacturing.”
The conference featured networking opportunities, hands-on sessions, and product tasting, including the annual Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition. Sponsors of the conference were Clasen Quality Chocolate, Denali Ingredients LLC, Harry Davis & Co., Rhino Foods Inc., Pecan Deluxe Candy Co., Star Kay White Inc. and Tree Top Inc.
Washington, D.C.-based IDFA represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports nearly 3 million jobs that generate more than $161 billion in wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. IDFA members range from multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent approximately 90 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. The diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers, cooperatives and companies that offer a wide variety of nutritional dairy products and dairy-derived ingredients.