News & Insights

Ice Cream Brands: Looking to Scoop Up Some Consumer Love?!

By Craig Blakaitis and Haley Silvers

Pink and white swirled ice cream with multi-color sprinkles on a cone

With growing competition for consumer mindshare, ice cream brands need to do more to remain relevant. If brands want to capture the attention of consumers, they’ll need to think really outside the pint — especially as the media landscape gets smaller and brands (from all walks of life) are going bigger. As a reputable Food and Beverage Communications Firm and as experts in the ice cream industry, we took a dive into what gets the media and consumers truly excited. So, grab a bowl of your favorite flavor and have a read at the trends we think every ice cream brand should be thinking about in 2023.

The “They Did What?!” Factor

Food-scented body care items like lotions and perfumes have been done many times over, so brands have to put a very unique spin on it in order to drum up conversation. One example of that is Salt & Straw’s perfume – made for ice cream, not the body. The brand leveraged National Ice Cream Day to announce a line of three culinary perfumes in cocoa, floral and citrus scented flavors. While perfume for food may seem odd, the uniqueness and usability of the product got the attention of both media and consumers.

Double the Brand Power

Collaborations are nothing new, but brand partnerships that lean into flavors we all know and love –whether trending or nostalgic – in unique ways are winning with media and consumers alike. Case in point, Van Leeuwen’s collaboration with Hidden Valley Ranch. On National Ranch Day, Van Leeuwen announced a limited-edition Hidden Valley Ranch flavored ice cream that sparked earned media conversation. While some covered the news with intrigue and others with perplexity, the unique flavor combination caused an onslaught of consumer conversation. Another fan favorite is Hudsonville Ice Cream’s lineup that brought the nostalgic and beloved flavors of Little Debbie snacks to life in ice cream pint form.

A Pop of Culture

Leaning into pop culture can generate a lot of buzz — but it needs to be done in a way that authentically brings the pop culture moment to life. A great example is Jeni’s “Biscuits with the Boss” flavor. Made in collaboration with and uniquely inspired by one of today’s best comedy series, “Ted Lasso,” the flavor references the shortbread biscuits the show’s main character would often bake.

The Final Scoop

We’ve lived and breathed ice cream at RF|Binder for a long time—and have seen ice cream brand trends come and go. And the brands that continue to win are those that take real chances, that put something out into the world that’s different, really fun—and always delicious. And most importantly, those that put their product and their brand’s DNA into the heart and soul of every idea. We’ve done that for some of today’s top ice cream brands and can’t wait to help other brands—both emerging and established—do really great things too.

Want to learn more? Reach out to the team here or email me at – would love to chat!

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