Milan, Italy – HostMilano reports on ice-cream trends worldwide, including a shift toward enjoying the frozen treat year-round often combined with pastry or coffee, and the growing promotion of using reusable or compostable materials such as coconut shells or traditional cones.
HostMilano’s Export Planning Analysis suggests a thriving ice-cream sector in Italy, with a turnover of more than 2.7 billion euros in 2022, primarily driven by exports.
The sector is expected to grow further, surpassing 3.2 billion euros by 2026. Notably, a significant portion of exports is made up of machinery, equipment and refrigerated display cases used in ice-cream production. Key export destinations include France, Germany, the United States and South Korea.
China is the main source of Italian imports for refrigeration production equipment, while Turkey dominates imports of refrigerated display cases and counters. Germany, Ireland, and Austria-Belgium are also notable import partners.
Trends in ice cream
HostMilano highlights several trends in ice cream. Ice cream is no longer confined to seasonal consumption but is enjoyed year-round, often combined with other sectors like pastry, coffee and mixology. Unconventional flavors such as Spritz or Campari ice cream and Mojito granitas, along with traditional flavours, are gaining popularity. The use of slush makers to freeze cocktails and the inclusion of homemade ice cream in chocolates are among the innovative developments.
Ice cream is no longer confined to seasonal consumption but is enjoyed year-round, often combined with other sectors like pastry, coffee and mixology.
A significant trend is the establishment of vegetable gardens adjacent to bars, restaurants and ice-cream parlous. This allows businesses to cultivate their own herbs, flowers and vegetables, and to promote control over the supply chain. The “farm-to-table” approach, originating from Australia, is gaining traction around the world. Italian artisanal ice cream emphasizes the use of high-quality, local ingredients, including PDO and PGI products and Slow Food communities, known as presidia.
Traditional desserts like panettone and niche products like pangiallo romano inspire the creation of new ice-cream flavours. Popular flavours like chocolate and coffee are diversified with specialty coffee or cocoa mass.
Health consciousness is a shared trend across the dessert industry, with a focus on lighter options, reduced sugar and lactose-free alternatives. Milan has seen the opening of plant-based and free-from pastry shops to cater to these needs. Packaging preferences are shifting towards sustainability, promoting the use of reusable or compostable materials such as coconut shells or traditional cones. The practice of eco-friendly packaging finds inspiration from India.
Packaging preferences are shifting towards sustainability, promoting the use of reusable or compostable materials such as coconut shells or traditional cones.
These trends provide insights for bakeries and restaurants looking to enhance their offerings, meet evolving consumer preferences and embrace sustainable practices.
These and other bakery, restaurant and food-service trends will be on display at HostMilano will take place at fieramilano Rho in Milan from Oct. 13 to 17, 2023. For more information, visit host.fieramilano.it/en.