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Ice Cream Mash-Ups – Time To Get Creative and Colourful

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Summer brings us lighter evenings, beer gardens, barbecues...ice cream! While we undoubtedly enjoy ice cream all year round, the heat gives us the perfect excuse to indulge in our favourite frozen fancies.

As social media has become such a huge part of people’s lives, one rising trend has been getting fit, healthy and showing it off. Eating clean has never been so popular, especially as going vegan becomes so trendy and accessible, and people love to share their healthy meals online along with their gym selfies.

It was only a matter of time before the counter-movement began to rise, where people openly embrace an unhealthy indulgence and share it on social media.

And so, just a bowl of vanilla ice cream is no longer enough. How is that going to stand out on Instagram? And the UK is getting incredibly creative, enjoying ice cream in a way unimaginable 10 years ago!

The new generation

Millennials (generally people born between the late 1980s and early 2000s) are a generation that values experiences over luxuries. Indeed, according to Eventbrite, 78% of Millennials choose to spend money on an experience or event, rather than buying something desirable. Business Insider reports that 53% of Millennials dine out once per week, compared to 43% of other generations.

Making up such a large portion of diners, they’re driving change in the industry. Millennials don’t want to be restricted by what, when or how they eat. They’ve grown up with an era of convenience and are changing the way food is served.

From all-day breakfast menus to ‘design your own’ options at pizza joints, food trends are turning tradition on its head. Customisation is the order of the day, and thanks to social media people want to make their food bigger, bolder and more unusual so that their posts stand out.

In the summer months, there’s nothing better to cool you down than a tasty ice cream. And nowadays, you can customise it to your heart’s content – candy floss, cookies and even beer (!) are all much-shared tasty treats that have been enjoyed.

Uber indulgence

The counter-movement to health-conscious “goals” is essentially based around extreme, in-your-face indulgence almost to the point of absurdity.

There is no set rule. As long as it’s eye-catching and unhealthy then you’re doing it right. Looking good on Instagram is far more important than taste when it comes to social media. However, it has to taste nice otherwise people won't be back for seconds! So it's important to create a fine balance between something for Instagram and something for people to enjoy once they've put their phones away.

And remember, the key to Instagrammable posts is colour.

Types of super-indulgent ice cream you can serve

Remember – think visual. It’s not the ingredients or the name, it’s how it looks that will get people’s interest.

Here are a selection of our favourite mash-ups from Instagram:

1. Ice cream cookies

2. Ice cream with candy floss

3. Ice cream coffee

A post shared by @beckyw363 on

4. Ice cream watermelon

A post shared by 🍦Ice Cream (@icecream) on

5. Black ice cream

A post shared by THEA KAMP (@theakamp) on

Impact on business

Another huge phenomenon is Freakshakes (milkshakes turned up to 11) which became a global smash hit via a small cafe in Australia. Its social media sharing of its creations resonated across the world – proving uber indulgence is more than a passing fad.

Such worldwide appeal led to Patissez cafe (which spawned the Freakshake concept) increasing its social media following from 3,000 to 27,000 likes. Remarkably, the cafe had only been open for 7 weeks by the time it went viral worldwide.

Long queues outside the cafe and waits over 40 minutes long for shakes served only to increase the hype, driven predominantly by social media marketing.
It shows what can be accomplished in a short space of time by unleashing an eye-catching creation and letting it ride the social media wave.

Ice cream mash-ups are all the rage on social media this summer.

What can you learn from this?

That breaking traditional food rules, being creative and recognising the importance of social media as a marketing tool can help your business boom.

Your small start-up can become a global trendsetter in just a few weeks, with customers happily queuing for an hour to get their hands on your creations.

Customers were encouraged in Patissez to create a unique Freakshake each time and then take a photo before they ate it. In the UK, people are grabbing their colourful ice cream mash-ups and sharing it instantly. Embracing the Instragram foodie culture can generate interest as the photos get shared more and more then more people want to get involved.

Starbucks recently got a lot of worldwide publicity over their unicorn, dragon and mermaid frappuccinos. These changed colours and flavours, with the unicorn version said to taste “sweet and fruity, transforming to pleasantly sour”. At 400 calories and containing 59g of sugar, these are the epitome of the uber indulgence trend.

Business Insider UK said they were “inspiring an era”. Great publicity and no doubt great for profits!

One striking creation and a social media platform can put your business at the forefront of a movement which puts your town at the epicentre. Competitors will copy you, giving the product extra promotion and reinforcing your brand as the original, the only place to get a fix.

Give the dog a cone

This summer a dog-friendly cafe on Mumbles Pier, Swansea, introduced ice cream made especially for dogs. Made without dairy and other ingredients potentially harmful for our four-legged friends, this gives the business a boost over competition.

People want to treat their pets, they want to spend the day outdoors with them (not just for an hour's walk) and let the dog enjoy the day too.

Golden rules

There are many things you can do to get your business recognised. Get creative and don’t be afraid to mix together things that aren’t traditionally compatible.

Don’t be afraid to make anything super unhealthy. Be colourful, bold and get it out into the world. You never know what the next craze to take the world by storm will be!


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