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The Cream Of The Crop

Newest and most innovative ice cream flavors win international awards

July 2023

Story courtesy of the International Dairy Foods Association

Banana Graham Ice Cream. Smooth Blended Cottage Cheese with Strawberry. Costa Rican Pineapple & Guava Greek Yogurt.

These and other sensational, fruit-forward flavors and inclusions shined this year, taking home two-thirds of the awards at the International Dairy Foods Association’s annual Innovative Ice Cream Flavor and Innovative Cultured Dairy Product competitions, co-sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine.

The ice cream and cultured dairy product competitions took place during IDFA’s annual, co-located Ice Cream Technology Conference and Yogurt & Cultured Innovation Conference, which attracted a record crowd of more than 270 industry professionals to Austin, Texas.

Honey Sopapilla by H-E-B took home top honors in the Most Innovative Ice Cream Flavor competition; Lemon Bar Sandwich by DFA Dairy Brands was awarded Most Innovative Ice Cream Novelty; and Peach Green Tea with Mango Bubble Burst from Tastepoint by IFF was named Most Innovative Prototype Ice Cream Flavor — the award for flavors not yet found in the marketplace.

In the Innovative Cultured Dairy Product competition, Smooth Blended Cottage Cheese with Strawberry by Dairy Farmers of America was named Most Innovative Cultured Dairy Product, and Costa Rican Pineapple & Guava Greek Yogurt from Fruitcrown Products Corp. secured the distinction of Most Innovative Cultured Dairy Prototype Flavor.

“While chocolate, vanilla and strawberry continue to top the list of America’s favorite ice cream flavors each year, dairy companies continue to innovate to meet consumers’ expectations and preferences,” says Joseph Scimeca, Ph.D., senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs at IDFA. “This year’s winners were able to match consumer preferences for fruits by incorporating peach, passionfruit, guava and other tropical, citrus and fruit flavors. We also saw the delicious combination of fruit and bakery goods, such as biscuits or graham crackers.”

“It was yet another incredible year for the Innovative Flavor and Product Contests. The applications were outstanding and delicious, and it was very difficult to select the winners,” says Brian Berk, editor-in-chief, Dairy Foods magazine. “I congratulate all the winners.”

The combined competitions attracted a record 50 entries, delivering new programming and contest opportunities to a broader spectrum of dairy professionals and suppliers than ever before.


• July is the busiest month for ice cream production, when nearly three-fifths of all ice cream is produced.

• The average American eats roughly 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about 4 gallons.

• Waffle cones beat out sugar cones 32% to 12% among consumers, but 37% of consumers prefer to eat ice cream out of a bowl.

• The most popular added ingredient is cookies at 46%, followed by candy/chocolate pieces at 27% and brownies at 19%.

• 84% of consumers prefer to purchase ice cream at the grocery store and eat it at home.

• Fortune Business Insights estimates the global ice cream market will reach $97.85 billion in 2027, up from $71.52 billion in 2021.