Honey-Sweetened Dairy Treats Are Cool for Summer

We’re all screaming for the ice cream category this summer, and so are manufacturers who are answering the call for more non-dairy products, gelato, plant-based options, and complex flavor profiles. We saw countless new ice cream-related products grace grocery store shelves in the first half of 2022, many using honey as their all-natural hero sweetener.

However, despite the desire for everything new, consumers still want their vanilla ice cream according to two recent surveys. The International Dairy Foods Association, in association with Research America, released a survey assessing 1,000 Americans’ favorite flavors. In addition, the North American Ice Cream Association weighed in on their sweetest flavors. Vanilla made the top 5 in both polls, and it should come as no surprise that the classic flavor is still a hit with both manufacturers and consumers.

But how do you make vanilla more interesting? Honey!

Enlightened introduced three frozen Greek yogurt sundae cones this year, and Vanilla Honey features a unique honey core in an effort to appeal to consumers who want unique flavor combinations. In the Dairy Foods Association survey, cones were the second most popular novelty product (21%), and with a dark chocolate swirl, oatmeal cookie crumble and of course the honey core, consumers can love the juxtaposition of classic vanilla mixed with something new.

Photo Credit: Enlightened
Photo Credit: Noosa

Another new twist on nostalgic vanilla comes from yoghurt maker Noosa, which launched yogurt gelato frozen desserts. Honey Vanilla Bean contains the same active cultures and probiotics found in Noosa’s original yoghurts. Wildflower honey is combined with whole milk, strawberry, vanilla bean, sea salt and caramel chips for a better-for-you (it’s gluten-free and kosher dairy), yet craveable treat.

Van Leeuwen released two made-with-honey limited edition varieties that definitely hit the mark. Honey Cornbread with Strawberry Jam French Ice Cream features that classic vanilla as a base, but with pieces of honey cornbread and strawberry jam.

Photo Credit: Van Leeuwen
Photo Credit: Van Leeuwen

The second limited edition flavor — Hot Honey Limited Edition French Ice Cream — culminates one of the biggest consumer trends of the year in the honey category: heat. This pint includes honeycomb pieces and hot honey swirls that provide consumers who want just a bit of kick after the cool sensation of creamy ice cream.

Ready to formulate the next biggest ice cream of the year sweetened with honey? Visit honey.com for dairy recipe inspiration.