The research was carried out by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) ahead of National Ice Cream Month in a bid to shed light into the latest trends and habits of US consumers.
The trade body found that most adults (around 77%) thought ice cream could be part of a balanced diet, with fruit-based varieties in particular considered a healthier option by younger shoppers. According to the survey, Gen Z and millennial consumers said they felt ‘less guilty’ when eating a fruit-based ice cream compared to a chocolate one. Younger consumers were also more attracted to better-for-you options.
Labels continue to play an important part in consumer decision-making according to the NFRA, with almost half of respondents stating they ‘always’ looked at labels in order to decide what works best for them.
Among the respondents with children, the trade body recorded ‘a significant level of interest and consumption’ when it comes to ice cream. Adults with children would consume ice cream or frozen novelties more often than child-free adults, the survey found, with parents indulging in ice cream around nine times per month and spending more time exploring the ice cream aisle.
Besides being the consumer group more likely to buy into the healthy ice cream category, Gen Z parents also admitted to being stricter with their children’s diets. According to the survey results, more than two in five (43%) of Gen Z adults would hide ice cream from their kids to limit consumption, compared to just 21% among Gen X parents.