As temperatures rise this summer, many restaurants are cooling off with new spins on popsicles and other frozen treats. Small batch retailers across the US like Street Pops, Pop Lab, Swell Pops and Lil’ Pop Shop are bringing both fresh international flavors and locally sourced ingredients together in unexpected ways through gourmet frozen desserts. With a little inspiration and innovation, you too can surprise customers with new, tasty ways to enjoy a familiar frozen treat.
Anthony Fellows of HipPOPs found success in thinking outside the box. HipPOPs is taking gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbet on the road by putting these grown-up sweets on a stick. One of his best sellers is The Godfather, a pistachio gelato dipped in semisweet chocolate and encrusted with roasted pistachio pieces and sea salt.
Bill Kim, chef-owner of Chicago’s Belly Shack, takes a similar creative mindset when concocting his take on soft serve. The ice cream base is created with a gallon of coconut water and served up in chilled, steel bowls. He then leaves it up to diners to mix in huckleberry lime, Vietnamese cinnamon-caramel, bacon-chocolate chip cookie crumbles or mint brownie bits.
Looking to incorporate a non-dairy alternative to ice cream? Look no further than the granita, which is similar in texture to sorbet and Italian ice. Made with semi-frozen water sweetened with a variety of flavorings, the granita practically begs for experimentation. Pastry chef Anna Shovers at The Publican in Chicago brings in regional flavors ranging from Vermont maple, to Lebanese yogurt, to Pennsylvania Dutch apple.
Need more inspiration? Our R&D team has been experimenting in our test kitchen to uncover a new frozen treat based on Mochi, Japanese rice covered ice cream balls found at a local Asian market. The exotic delicacy had our R&D team bursting with potential ideas. Here are three delicious exotic takes on Mochi:
Mango Mochi with Pineapple Mango Habanero Sauce: Includes fire-roasted pineapple and red bell peppers.
Chocolate Mochi with Spicy Chocolate: Similar to a Mexican chocolate with cinnamon and added heat from various seasonings.
Vanilla Mochi with Mixed Berry: A blend of raspberry, strawberry and blueberry.
Regardless of your take on frozen sweets, don’t miss an opportunity to spark consumer’s interest to try something new and tasty. In fact, based off Culinary Visions’ consumer research, “consumers purchase interest in dessert increased by 81% if the server offered them one with an interesting or new flavor profile.” Why not take a chance on a cool treat and excite your customers by presenting a unique frozen dessert during the summer months?