Don’t worry we are not talking about Brexit or politics, we are talking ice cream cabinets. Last year black was on trend with black soft serve, black ice cream, black gelato and even black waffle cones. Now is seems that ‘colour’ is the new black! Colourful cabinets and cones are what I am seeing when I am out and about visiting gelaterias and parlours around the UK. Particular colour favourites seem to be pink, blue and purple.
For those of you who were lucky enough to visit Sigep this year you will have seen the origin of the UK colour trend, as the theme was all about ‘building a brighter world’. We are seeing an ever increasing popularity of colourful flavours like ‘Unicorn’ which combines blue and pink meaning it crosses gender preconceptions and is inclusive for all. It is fair to say the market has a come a long way since the days of Neapolitan ice cream, when we thought is was clever having three flavours in one tub!
So this is all about taste in both senses of the word. Actually, it is a key question as it really does depend on your customer demographic and your brand position as to how colourful you go. Across the world some cultures seem to think that the brighter the colour the better. This certainly seems to apply to the Asian market, which will affect some areas of the UK especially those gelaterias who stay open late in the evening, serving the sociable evening dessert culture of Asian communities. On the other hand, there are areas of the UK where natural colours are favoured and there is a focus on natural ingredients, locally sourced, ethically produced and free from artificial flavourings etc. If you know your market then you will know how strong to go with your colour choices.
There are some big brand sweets which like to confuse us producing mixed up packs of sweets with colours that don’t match their flavour, such as red lime or orange strawberry and so on. I am sure you all know what I am talking about here. So should we try this in the cabinet? Maybe if you are in a trendy inner city location with a young demographic you might get away with this, but to be honest my reaction is it is confusing and actually ultimately consumers don’t like it. Once the novelty has warn off I believe they would choose a flavour that looks like the flavour it tastes of, such as pink strawberry. You might not agree with me though so do feel free to get in touch and share your experiences of colour matching your flavours. There is plenty of research around to suggest we all buy with our eyes and if the taste doesn’t match up to the way it looks, we could be in trouble.
Obviously colour palettes are a subjective topic and what one person likes another dislikes. However as a general rule of thumb, I would recommend the contents of an ice cream cabinet to look like it all fits together. What do I mean? Look for aesthetically pleasing tones which look good next to each other or think about complimentary colours in the spectrum, deciding whether you go for a range of similar tones or contrasts?
On the whole the feedback I am getting is that consumers react well to colour, but whether you choose to have a kaleidoscope in your cabinet or stick to natural shades will depend on your brand position and customer tastes. Getting the colour right to represent a flavour is however more important than the selection of colours in the cabinet, as you don’t want to disappoint your customers. If you are not sure, why don’t you just ask your customers for their feedback?
See you next time for the latest scoop…
Antonelli’s National Technical Manager Jonny Ireland write’s a regular column in the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…
See how this article looked in the July’19 edition of the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…