It is no secret that consumers love ice cream. In fact, 87% of Americans have ice cream in the freezer right now! Because milk is the main ingredient in ice cream, this refreshing dairy food contains calcium, high-quality protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.

“Although these nutrients are less concentrated in ice cream than in milk, yogurt and cheese, they still make ice cream a nutritious option when compared to other dessert items,” said Maggie Cimarolli, a registered dietitian and St. Louis District Dairy Council nutrition educator.

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Celebrate July Ice Cream month by checking out these trends in local grocery stores or ice cream shops.

Creative Flavor Combinations and Mash-ups

Ice cream is a treat, so added indulgence in the form of layers, textures, toppings and fillings is a welcomed addition for many. A quick stroll down the ice cream aisle will highlight a variety of candy bar and dessert mash-ups in addition to these interesting flavors: caramel pound cake, Mexican-style hot chocolate, matcha green tea, campfire peanut butter cup and summer berry cake pop. Try a new flavor each week with these endless options.

Health-Conscious Options

The ice cream case has been evolving to meet dietary concerns and needs. Low carbohydrate, fat-free, no-sugar-added and lactose-free options are available at many grocery stores. To assist those counting calories, manufacturers usually print calorie content on the front of the package.

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Craft and Small Batch

Craft or small-batch ice cream offers an exclusive feel and look to entice consumers to try the product. Seasonal flavors or limited-edition treats that coincide with a special event or trend only stick around for a certain time, so you have to get it before it is gone! Manufacturers enjoy creating a variety of flavors, tweaking the recipe as needed and catering to customer feedback.

Ice Cream Novelties

The food industry is increasing its options for in-home snacking. Ice cream novelties are more convenient for a small snack straight out of the box because of their single-serve packaging. Handheld snacks are no longer just ice cream bars; innovations in shape, size and portability are making snacking on ice cream easier than ever.

Rather than fussing over what to eat for dessert, just bring out the ice cream. It is simple to serve, making it the perfect treat for families, parties and other events, especially in July.

For more information on the health benefits of dairy or facts about ice cream, visit www.stldairycouncil.org or contact Maggie Cimarolli with St. Louis District Dairy Council at (314)-835-9668, or e-mail MCimarolli@STLDairyCouncil.org.

About the St. Louis District Dairy Council

The St. Louis District Dairy Council (SLDDC) is a nonprofit nutrition education organization funded by local dairy farmers. Since 1932, SLDDC has served 131 counties in central/southern Illinois and eastern Missouri as the go-to educational resource and advocate for the role of dairy foods as part of a healthful diet. As The Nutrition Education People, we are proud to spread knowledge to local communities, bridging the gap between local dairy farmers and consumers. The staff is comprised of professionals with experience in nutrition, food service management, education and communications, and we take pride in delivering engaging programs throughout the communities we serve.

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