Food & Beverage Manufacturing


Find a U.S. Dairy Supplier

Access to 100+ U.S. Companies

The global taste for desserts is insatiable. More than 8,000 launches of ice cream and other desserts in 2013 cap a five-year, worldwide launch trend that seeks to fill consumer demand for less guilt when indulging.1

Food and beverage formulators often turn to U.S. dairy manufacturers for tasty, nutritional ingredients for their frozen, chilled and ambient dessert applications. Dairy ingredients, such as whey, permeate, cheese, and many more, provide the flavor, function and nutrition needed for guilt-free indulgence. Dairy ingredients and products from the United States help desserts product developers keep on-trend with category innovation. Learn more about U.S. dairy products in the Product Section.    

Trends in Desserts

DessertsThe dessert category - frozen and chilled desserts as well as ambient temperature items like puddings and flan - is supported by ongoing growth of the ice cream category.  

Global sales of ice cream grew 32.8% from 2010 to 2015, and growth is projected to be 14.1% from 2015 to 2020. Frozen desserts saw 23.3% growth during the same period, and are projected to grow 13.4% from 2015 to 2020.2  

When it comes to the overall desserts category, ice cream leads the way. The category continues to innovate to help consumers enjoy better-for-you indulgences that meets developing demand for global tastes. 

Ice Cream Leads the Way

Ice cream - as an after-dinner treat, a midday (or anytime) snack, and even as a nutritional boost - continues to hold its own as one of the world's leading dessert items. On the heels of five years of consistent annual growth, the global ice cream segment is projected to gain 2.7% annually for the next five years (2015-2020).2  

Take-home product launches are the most popular items within the ice cream segment, and accounted for 35% of all product launches within the global dessert and ice cream market in 2012.3  

The world's consumers often look to U.S. ice cream trends. Economic development in China, Eastern Europe and the Middle East creates a taste for American ice cream even as global brand marketers acquire and refresh local favorites.4  

Better-for-You Indulgences

Within the take-home ice cream segment, low-fat positioning taps the need for improved indulgence offerings and led introductions with 14.9% of total global product launches in 2012.3  

To meet demand for good-for-you indulgence, frozen dessert introductions in recent years include tart frozen yogurt that features probiotic bacteria to improve digestion.4 Other value-added formulation trends include probiotics in other frozen and chilled desserts as well as the addition of prebiotics, omega-3 and added calcium.4  

Global Tastes

The American palate has advanced in recent years, as more and more households look to integrate different ethnic flavors into meals and desserts. In fact, 90% of American households regularly eat ethnic foods at home or while dining out.4  

In desserts, this translates to the introduction of items designed to appeal to Hispanic and Asian-American consumers in the United States. As U.S. ice creams are popular globally, new ethnic twists can provide crossover appeal to mainstream flavors consumers are eager to try around the globe.5  

For instance, frozen dessert flavors with ties to Asia create unusual taste profiles that meet the expectations of more sophisticated dessert diners. As a result, spices such as cardamom and ginger were among the Asian influences found in both U.S. and European ice cream products in 2013.5  

Blend U.S. dairy ingredients to desserts with indigenous flavors to help meet the desire for global tastes. The end result will be a dessert that contains the functional and nutritional benefits of U.S. dairy products with international flavor profiles consumers desire.  


Dairy ingredients from the United States provide flavor, function and nutrition. The chart below illustrates the benefits of eight common dairy ingredients.

Milk & CreamMilk Powder

Milk Protein Conc.
Whey Phospho- lipids
Whey Protein Conc.Whey Protein Isolate
Color   yes     yes yes yes  
Emulsification       yes yes yes yes  
Fat-binding       yes   yes yes  
Fat Reduction               yes
Flavor yes yes            
Gelling             yes  
Nutrient Fortification           yes yes yes
Shelf-life       yes   yes yes  
Stability           yes yes  
Sugar Reduction       yes        
Texture yes     yes   yes yes  
Thickening   yes       yes yes  
Whipping Performance           yes yes  
  Lactose Details Milk Powder Details Milk Protein Details Whey Details Whey Details Whey Details

Formulas & Recipes

Access U.S. Dairy Export Council prototype formulations for inspiration on formulating full-fat, low-fat and nonfat ice cream, sugar-free frozen desserts, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet, novelties, and dry, long-life and aseptic mixes.

Red Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Red Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

A tangy and refreshing cake that will transport you to the tropics. Juicy dragon fruit and silky cream cheese sit atop a golden-brown pecan nut base.


Taro and Caramel High Protein Dessert

Taro and Caramel High Protein Dessert

Combining the creamy and nutritious blend of taro and caramel, enjoy this high protein dessert that also serves as a meal replacement.


Pandan Sesame Cookies

Pandan Sesame Cookies

Enjoy these fragrant and crispy pandan sesame cookies that will make a lovely accompaniment to your afternoon tea.


Resources & Insights

Looking for further innovation ideas and technical support? Download the resources below for more information on developing dessert applications with U.S. Dairy.

Whey Products in Ice Cream and Frozen Dairy Desserts

Learn more about frozen dessert market trends and the functional benefits whey offers.

1Innova Database. Chilled Desserts. February 2014.
2Euromonitor Passport Database (Packaged Food). Accessed March 2016.
3Innova Database. Indulgence and added value drive ice cream innovation. December 2013.
4Gallup in AE Sloan Food Technology, June 2010.
5Packaged Facts. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Markets and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition. Jan. 1, 2010.