For the third consecutive year, Perry's Ice Cream Company, Inc. took top honors in two of the three categories judged last week at the International Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Contest. Wells Enterprises, Inc., the maker of Blue Bunny ice cream and novelties, took home the third award. The competition, which showcases the creativity of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert makers, is part of IDFA’s annual Ice Cream Technology Conference.
"Complex dessert flavors like raspberry cheesecake, pineapple upside-down cake, sweet potato pecan pie and white chocolate blackberry torte were popular again this year, and even jelly donut joined the mix,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs. “We also tasted sweet and salty products with salted caramel and brown butter cashew, as well as two that featured the comfort-food flavor of popcorn blended in a frozen dessert. This contest, as always, is a great way to spot new trends and highlight the industry's creativity."
Honors for the most innovative ice cream flavor went to Tropical Neapolitan, a fruity combination of mango, coconut and pineapple, entered by Perry’s Ice Cream Company. Movie Time, Perry's popcorn-flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles, won most innovative prototype flavor. Wells Enterprises, Inc. took home the most innovative novelty award for its Yoplait™ Greek Frozen Yogurt Honey Caramel bar, a Greek frozen yogurt with a honey caramel swirl.
The contest, sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine, is a popular session at the annual conference. There were 24 total entries, making it a record field for the second year in a row. Conference participants served as the judges.
More than 135 dairy professionals participated in this year's Ice Cream Technology Conference, which took place March 12-13 at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chocolate Academy and Mystery Basket
IDFA added several new sessions to this year's agenda, including a “Chocolate Academy” and a “Mystery Basket” challenge. In the two-part “Chocolate Academy,” attendees learned the fundamentals of chocolate and chocolate compounds with a focus on formulation and applications that inspire best practices and troubleshooting for ice cream and novelties. Laurent Besin, a Master Chef and Barry Callebaut’s technical services and applications manager, was the featured speaker for these sessions, which included tastings of top food trends brought to life in six bite-size ice cream and chocolate treats.