News & Events

April 8, 2024

Ice Cream Shop Trends in the US and other things you’ll need to know in 2024

Which trends will be relevant for your ice cream shop in 2024?

The new year has finally arrived, with all its hopes and dreams for the upcoming months. And for any ice cream and gelato shop, that means only one thing: the peak season is now behind the corner.

Whatever your core business might be – american style ice cream, Italian gelato, sherbets, other frozen desserts or a mix of these – you should already be planning your next summer season.

At MODALiTA we start preparing quite early.

During the fall, right after the end of the previous summer season, gelato shops in fact start working to renovate their design and implement some innovations for the upcoming year. Also, winter is the ideal moment for taking the time to evaluate how business performed until then, and to make proper adjustments for the future.

Buying a better performing gelato machine, investing in the outdoors with a brand new luxury cart, and so on…

Whatever you’ll need to do to grant your shop a terrific next summer season, you’ll need to do it now. Because your competitors are already doing it.

But what do you really need to consider before making any choice?

Which trends will be relevant in 2024 and how will they affect your business?

AT MODALiTA we have identified three main ones, according to the latest data available.

Ice Cream Shop Trends 2024

3 Ice Cream Shop trends for 2024

1) Trend #1: You’ll need to rise quality to navigate the inflationary tide

The past two years have been a rollercoaster ride for businesses, with inflation wreaking havoc on supply chains and consumer spending. In 2022 the annual inflation rate hit a terrifying 8.3%, while 2023 added up another 4%.

Ice cream and gelato shops, with their reliance on fresh ingredients and delicate production processes, have been particularly hard hit. The rising costs of milk, cream, sugar, and other essential ingredients have forced shop owners to pass on the extra expense to consumers. This indeed led to price increases up to the 12% that slightly dampened demand.

However, there is a silver lining to this. In fact, as consumers become more price-conscious, they also become more discerning about the quality of the products they buy.

This creates an opportunity for ice cream and gelato shops to differentiate themselves by focusing on exceptional quality and creating an experience that justifies the higher price point. A well-crafted marketing strategy can highlight the unique flavors, premium ingredients, and artisanal techniques that set these shops apart from mass-produced alternatives.

In essence, the key to navigating the inflationary tide lies in elevating the perceived quality of the product. Consumers are willing to spend more if they believe they are getting something truly special. By emphasizing quality and innovation, ice cream shops can not only weather the storm of inflation but emerge stronger and more resilient.

Our guess is that the shops that will be better at promoting quality, will also succeed at attracting a loyal following of discerning customers who appreciate the finer things.

Obviously, MODALiTA in first in line to help you achieve these results!

2) Trend #2: The rise of sorbet and fruit-based flavors

In recent years, consumer preferences have shifted towards healthier choices, with a growing demand for plant-based and sugar-free alternatives. This trend has not gone unnoticed in the ice cream and gelato industry. Not surprisingly, fruit-based flavors have witnessed a surge in popularity.

According to some sources, flavors such as peaches and cream saw an unbelievable +9000% surge.

These options offer indeed a refreshing and sugar-guilt-free indulgence.

Same thing applies to sorbet, the frozen dessert made from puréed fruit and water. Sorbet has in fact also gained traction among health-conscious consumers. Its naturally low sugar content and daily-free nature make it an appealing option for those seeking a light and refreshing treat.

Shall this be the end for traditional flavors?

Definitely not. While fruit-based flavors and sorbet have gained prominence, classic favorites like chocolate and vanilla remain indeed deeply ingrained in the preferences of ice cream and gelato lovers. These timeless flavors continue to offer a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

The growing demand for healthier dessert options has presented an opportunity for ice cream and gelato shops to innovate and expand their offerings. 

As consumer preferences continue to evolve, the industry is poised to adapt and redefine the concept of a guilt-free dessert. Offering a balance between health-conscious choices and the classic flavors that have defined gelato for generations will most likely be key for the next years’ success.

3) Trend #3: A more conscious consumption

2023 has seen an increasing attention on “natural”, “free-from”, “cage free”, and similar claims.

Consumers keep becoming increasingly health and environmentally conscious, thus the ice cream industry is poised to undergo a significant transformation.

Gone are the days of mass-produced, artificial flavors and ingredients. Today’s discerning palates demand a more mindful approach to dessert indulgence. This shift in consumer preference is paving the way for a new era of conscious ice cream offerings, where sustainability, transparency, and ethical sourcing take center stage.

Leading ice cream brands are already embracing this trend. They’ve already incorporated natural ingredients, plant-based options, and cage-free dairy practices into their production processes.

These initiatives will probably be pivotal in 2024 to cater to consumer demand. By aligning with their customers’ values, these brands are building a loyal following of consumers who prioritize ethical consumption and the health of our planet.

In the upcoming years, this conscious consumption trend is expected to gain even more momentum. Consumers will increasingly seek out ice cream brands that align with their personal values, demanding transparency in sourcing and production while favoring flavors that are both delicious and nutritious.

Recap: how to approach these trends to grant your ice cream shop a successful 2024 Summer Season?

The data speaks for itself. Obtaining success with a gelato or ice cream is no longer such an easy task as it used to be.

In the past competition wasn’t that fierce. As Italians we know that pretty well. Offering an average good product was often enough to drive a reasonable number of customers into an ice cream shop. And that was the reason why many Italians moved to the US seeking fortune by opening up their own shop.

But today, a huge number of shops are popping up every year, and people are getting pickier. While prices keep going up, today’s consumers are more health and environmentally conscious. Also, they ask for higher overall quality in taste, flavors’ choice and sugar content.

While this fact may sound frightful for ice cream shop owners, this actually means opportunity.

Consumers are willing to spend more for something truly unique that meets their values and needs!

Quality then becomes the main key and driver for success during the next peak season.

At MODALiTA we’re here to help you with this “quality transition”. With our selection of the finest gelato machines and equipment, and our expert advice and customer care, we can help you transform your Shop into the must-visit destination for any ice cream and gelato lover!

Moreover, if you want to really make a difference during the next peak season, invest in your know-how and REGISTER NOW to our next TOP-RATED Gelato Class on February 5th and 6th!

All the relevant info here!

, ,
Text Widget
Aliquam erat volutpat. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Integer sit amet lacinia turpis. Nunc euismod lacus sit amet purus euismod placerat? Integer gravida imperdiet tincidunt. Vivamus convallis dolor ultricies tellus consequat, in tempor tortor facilisis! Etiam et enim magna.