Ice cream makers have opened up to millions of new customers by catering to all dietary and religious requirements.
From sugar, gluten, dairy and alcohol-free to diabetic, vegan and halal, parlours up and down the country are offering ice cream to suit all tastes.
Sales already generate more than £1billion for the UK economy every year and manufacturers are eager to maximise their share of the profits by whipping up healthier and more inclusive new varieties.
Ice cream makers are certain that demand for specialist kinds of the treat will continue to grow.
David Equi, of Equi’s Ice Cream, said: “There is definitely a growing demand for these niche markets of different types of ice cream.
“We get asked more and more for gluten-free ice cream but we also have a lot of people checking that our ice cream suits a halal diet.
“Our bubblegum-flavoured ice cream has marshmallows in it and it is hard to find marshmallows that are not made with gelatine.
“Obviously any alcoholic flavours of ice cream wouldn’t suit a halal diet but people also ask about whether any vanilla extract in our recipes has been distilled in alcohol.
“Nowadays you have to be acutely aware of every ingredient and process and how it may affect dietary needs.”
David says Scottish ice cream makers can predict what will happen trend-wise by looking at what is happening in the industry in Italy and America.
He added: “At the last trade show I was at in Italy, it was ice cream to suit a vegan diet that was becoming hugely popular.”
While manufacturers have been making sugar-free ice cream to meet the needs of diabetics for many years, David says the race is on to perfect the taste of sugar-free ice cream for the mass market.
He said: “There are a lot of reduced-sugar ice creams which the industry has got pretty good at making but, in my opinion, sugar-free
ice cream still has a way to go.
“It’s great to have the choice but, for me, ice cream is a luxury indulgence product.”
David insists the most important factor is always the taste.
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He added: “Customers shouldn’t be afraid to ask about how their ice cream is made, what is in it and the story behind the recipe.”
Across the country, our towns, cities and villages are home to some of the best ice cream this side of Naples.
And to celebrate the traditional Scottish scoop, we’ve teamed up with Waverley Bakery to launch our annual search for the best parlour, establishment and makers of ice cream.
Nominations for the Golden Cone Awards close today.
Fill in the entry form on our Facebook page to let us know your favourite place to enjoy ice cream – and your
nomination could win that business the prestigious Golden Cone to display in their shop.
Sunday Mail Golden Cone Awards: Nominate today!
To celebrate the traditional Scottish scoop, we’ve teamed up with the Waverley Bakery to launch our annual search for the best parlour, establishment or makers of ice cream.
Go to www.sundaymail.co.uk/goldenconeawards – or visit our Facebook page – to let us know your favourite place to enjoy ice cream, and your nomination could win the prestigious Golden Cone to display in their shop.
Nominations close today, April 30, and the best suggestions will go before a panel of judges who will visit finalists and choose a winner.