The frozen dessert machine market is hotting up

Pete Gray, commercial director at ice cream machine supplier Taylor UK, details how swift growth in the popularity of gelato is good news for cool confectionary system manufacturers.

Over our past four decades of operation, we at Taylor UK have seen a massive increase in the variety of treats retailers want to offer, expanding from traditional ‘whippy ice cream’ cones and desserts to frozen yogurts, sorbets and even soft serve gelatos. Increasingly now there is a call for authentic ‘artisan’ ice creams.

Just as frozen yogurt has surged in popularity over recent years, traditional gelato is also becoming more prevalent, with everyone trying to think of that next big flavour or simply trying to grab attention; we’ve seen gelato for dogs and even breast milk ice cream!

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Soft serve and frozen beverage equipment makers are now entering a busy period, which may surprise some who think that the summer is the main time for sales. For Taylor UK at least, we usually sell more ice cream machines now than we would in August, as end users prepare for the Christmas rush.

This is because pub chains realise that soft serve has a high perceived value to their customers but is quick and easy to serve and make mouth-watering desserts from, while having a very low product cost.

Gelato is not just the Italian word for ice cream, it takes a little bit more know how to make – hence why the growth in popularity of this dessert has led to an increase in gelato schools, free courses designed to help those new to the market break down the myths. They can literally buy milk and sugar in the morning and by the afternoon be producing authentic Italian-style ice creams.

But to succeed in this market, suppliers need to offer more than just a box. Operators are very busy people – they just want to make a decision and let someone else organise all of the intricacies.

Guiding them to make the most suitable decision for their business is all about arranging one to one recommendations and consultancy, training, product and menu customisation and expert engineer support. This is what we feel the market demands.

That’s why we’ve invested in 35 dedicated, factory trained field engineers who work exclusively for us, to help us to provide that aftercare that our customers demand once our machine is in place.

Each engineer carries a stock of parts so that not only do we react quickly when our customers need us but we leave the machines operational when we leave without the need to revisit.

We think 2016 will continue to see strong growth in both frozen yogurt and gelato, with frozen yogurt appearing in schools as a healthier ice cream alternative and more dedicated ice cream and gelato parlours opening in cities and towns across the UK.

A good summer in 2016 will only add fuel to this fire – but we all know not to put too much faith in the great British weather!

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