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Full-fat ice cream is worth the guilt July 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Drinks News.
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Recent data gathered by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) shows that low-fat ice cream is the fastest growing ice cream category for 2006.

While many Americans may be eating healthier, ice cream remains the sacred cow of guilty pleasures. About two-thirds of U.S. adults (67%) agree full-fat ice cream is worth the guilt. The findings come as a result of a survey commissioned by Denali Flavors Moose Tracks ice cream and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey, designed to gauge consumer interest in different varieties of ice cream, also indicated that nearly three-quarters of men (73%) and two- thirds of women (66%) would rather eat full-fat ice cream than full-fat varieties of other snacks, which might include cookies, chips and candy.

“Ice cream has traditionally been about treating oneself, and this study suggests that consumers are willing to indulge,” said Denali Flavors President Neal Glaeser. Denali Flavors is one of the leading inventors and marketers of specialty flavors for the ice cream industry, including its signature flavor, Moose Tracks, which features ice cream mixed with peanut butter cups and fudge pieces. “In some ways the findings are surprising in light of the success of low- fat varieties of decadent ice creams,” Glaeser added. “But it does suggest that ice cream stands apart as the kind of treat that consumers are simply unwilling to compromise on the pleasure of eating.”

The survey provides additional insight into consumer perceptions regarding low-fat ice cream. According to the survey, more than half of U.S. adults (52%) say they don’t believe decadent flavors such as Moose Tracks and Rocky Road can be low-fat and still taste good. However, blind taste-tests indicate the average consumer cannot distinguish between low-fat and full-fat ice creams currently on the market, a fact Glaeser chalks up to the advancements made in manufacturing and ingredients over the past three years.

Recent data gathered by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) shows that low-fat ice cream is the fastest growing ice cream category (2006). Yet, regular “full-fat” ice cream still accounts for the largest share of the frozen dessert market at 63.8%, according to 2005 U.S. production.

The IDFA reports that nearly 90 percent of American households purchase ice cream. The annual market for frozen deserts, of which ice cream comprises 87 percent, is estimated at more than $21 billion.

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