Frozen as­sets: the lat­est ice cream trends

Ice-cream is not what it used to be, as any­one who re­mem­bers when the only fla­vors around were cho­co­late, vanilla and straw­berry, will tes­tify. This sweet de­light is to­day be­ing redefined as a com­plex, stand­alone prod­uct, al­ready be­ing in­cor­po­rated into s

Hospitality News Middle East - - IN THIS ISSUE - Master Chef Charles Azar

SWEET EMO­TION

Even though most peo­ple view ice cream as sim­ply a sweet treat or in­dul­gence, Chef Charles Azar takes the process of mak­ing it very se­ri­ously. The cre­ations he has been chan­nel­ing his ef­forts into pro­duc­ing are on an en­tirely dif­fer­ent level, even bor­der­ing on art. Here, he dis­cusses with HN the strate­gies be­hind his of­fer­ings, the fla­vors he in­cor­po­rates from tra­di­tional Le­banese sweets and why he be­lieves ice cream is grad­u­ally mov­ing to the top of the menu.

What con­sid­er­a­tions should be taken into ac­count when cre­at­ing new of­fer­ings?

Ev­ery prod­uct, es­pe­cially in the food in­dus­try, must have a clearly-de­fined strat­egy in order to al­low it room to de­velop and grow. While these should be de­signed as part of a port­fo­lio that sup­ports the over­all cor­po­rate strat­egy, each should also have ex­plic­itly de­fined char­ac­ter­is­tics that are specif­i­cally tai­lored to meet mar­ket needs.

What are some of the ingredients be­ing in­cor­po­rated into ice cream to­day?

Peo­ple who work in the ice cream busi­ness spe­cial­ize in spread­ing hap­pi­ness and the way this is ul­ti­mately achieved is through a range of di­verse ap­proaches. Ice cream-mak­ing has be­come an art form that trans­gressed the orig­i­nal vanilla, straw­berry and cho­co­late fla­vors. In an ever-ex­pand­ing ar­ray of com­bi­na­tions, fruit purées and ex­tracts, co­coa pow­der, nuts and cookie-dough pieces are some of the trend­ing ingredients in­cor­po­rated into the mix­ture by man­u­fac­tur­ers.

What is­sues are you tack­ling to en­sure you re­main com­pet­i­tive,?

Ev­ery­body wants to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful prod­uct, which isn't al­ways easy to do. A prod­uct’s suc­cess is ul­ti­mately achieved when the novel of­fer­ing adds value to the avail­able range, while de­liv­er­ing con­sis­tent value. Com­pa­nies that achieve prod­uct suc­cess grow their loyal fol­low­ing and, in turn, out­per­form the com­pe­ti­tion.

What promis­ing fla­vors do you be­lieve will be trend­ing this sum­mer and why?

Ice cream pro­duc­tion con­tin­ues to de­velop in cre­ative ways. One of the most re­cent in­no­va­tions has been to trans­form Le­banese sweets into ice cream. Some of these in­clude maamoul glacé, pis­ta­chio mafroukeh glacé and ha­laweh ice cream, which have been gar­ner­ing an en­cour­ag­ing fol­low­ing based on feed­back re­ceived.

Where do you en­vi­sion ice cream head­ing in the com­ing years?

There are so many rea­sons why ice cream is the best dessert on the planet. No mat­ter the weather, fla­vor or time of year, it is the per­fect frozen treat for any­one of any age. There is so much you can do with this de­li­ciously creamy dessert! It could be served as it is or added to other items on the menu, such as cake, cook­ies, brown­ies, per­haps even some dishes, thereby shift­ing its sta­tus from a side of­fer­ing to a more cen­tral one.

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