The lineup suggests nostalgia will heavily influence consumers’ upcoming ice cream selections with many of the flavor predictions in Parker Product’s feature flavors booklet encouraging consumers to recreate childhood memories and recall images of America’s past.
For example, Malted S’mores, which combines marshmallow swirls, chunks of sugar cookies and chocolate flakes with a malt flavor base, will bring to mind images of sitting around the campfire with friends and family. It also plays on the current trend towards smokier flavors combined with earthy scents.
“When developing this flavor, it was all about the nostalgia associated with eating s’mores as a child,” Jamie Wilson, director of marketing and culinary are Parker Products, told FoodNavigator-USA. “When I make my s’mores, I catch the marshmallow on fire. I love the smokiness and the caramelization of the crisply charred marshmallow, and it was very important to build the flavor to match my own personal experience, as I know I’m not the only one out there that eats their s’mores like this! Finding the perfect flavor is the biggest challenge — sometimes it requires a combination of flavors to get exactly what you are looking for.”
Another “very nostalgic flavor” created by Parker Products is Whiskey River, which plays off the resurgence in craft cocktails from the early and mid-1900s currently sweeping America, Wilson said.
Wilson explains this flavor will appeal to masses given the “undying and new-found love for whiskey of all types – from the old school Tennessee Whiskey to the newly popular Fireball!”
The flavor is nostalgic, Wilson explains, because it “took me to an old favorite country song ‘Whiskey River.’ There’s a line in the song that talks about the ‘amber current,’ and that resonated as the amber color of the variegate and how it flows like a river through the ice cream.”
Whiskey also makes a cameo in the form of cake pieces and a brown sugar bourbon swirl in Parker’s custard ice cream-based Bournog Eggbon. The clearly holiday inspired flavor also will feature praline pecans – an old-fashioned favorite.
Holiday memories also likely will play into consumers’ desires for Parker’s Salted Gingerbread, which combines seemingly all the spicy-sweet flavors of fall with a pumpkin base ice cream, gingerbread inclusions and salted caramel maple variegate.
Savory comes to ice cream
But not all the flavors of 2017 will draw on nostalgia – some are squarely centered in modern trends, such as the slowly emerging trend of offering savory alternatives of typically sweet products.
“You will see the sweet and savory trend crossover into the frozen dessert segment” in 2017, predicts Wilson.
While savory has taken off in some categories, such as nutrition bars, it has struggled compared to sweet elsewhere – such as with some yogurt consumers. Wilson predicts that Parker’s take on the trend will succeed because each savory component of its Parmesan Sables ice cream is paired with a sweet element for balance.
“In this flavor for instance, the rosemary is plated onto a sugar glazed pecan – so again there’s the sweet. The same goes for the Parmesan sable; it’s a cheesy cookie,” Wilson said. “It’s all in the pairing and making sure that all the flavors can live together as one!”
Parker promises several fruit-forward flavors also will dominate the ice cream scene in 2017.
For example, it predicts raspberry will play a starring role alongside strawberry, blueberry and banana in several different blends. The Raspberry Buttermilk Sherbet, Blueberry Crumble and Strawberry slab also will serve up plenty of Americana-inspired memories that are just as nostalgic as those for camping and craft cocktails served in a carefree time.