Keeping the foodservice equipment marketplace up to date with the latest menu and concept trends.



Trend: Frozen Desserts

Long a favorite dessert for many Americans, consumers are getting more curious about different flavors and even textural variations of ice cream available around the globe. Consumers can continue their culinary exploration with the many new types and flavors of ice cream on menus today.

Ice Cream Claims 2 Spots in Top 5

Thai-rolled ice cream, also known as stir-fried ice cream, claimed the No. 1 spot in the snacks/sweets category of the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2019 culinary forecast.

trend Lemongrass Ice Cream Rolled in Puffed Quinoa and Roasted Cashew Milk SupHerb Farms copyLemongrass Ice Cream Rolled in Puffed Quinoa and Roasted Cashew Milk

From coast to coast, boutique stores focusing on this customizable Asian treat continue to pop up. Two concepts ready to franchise include Wonders Ice Cream Company, a St. Paul, Minn.-based operator with eight stores that uses hibachi scrapers to mix ingredients, and New York-based Minus10 Ice Cream, a two-store ice cream shop that emphasizes freshness, right down to its in-house creme anglaise staff make daily.

Falling right in line with many of the traits that define Thai-rolled ice cream — such as made-to-order and authentic preparation — the No. 5 spot went to artisan/house-made ice cream in the What’s Hot 2019 study.

Concept Close-up: Raleigh Rolls

trend Chocolate Overload RR 5Owner-operator Ramy Bahgat offers a unique Thai-rolled ice cream at her Raleigh Rolls store, located inside Morgan Street Food Hall in Raleigh, N.C. She makes the concoction by pouring a homemade milk mixture over a chilled grill. Staff use spatulas to mix in additional ingredients, which include cookies, fruit, coffee and more, then set it to freeze. Customers watch as a team member rolls the ice cream into six small pieces, places the pieces in a cup and adds additional toppings. The equipment lineup at Raleigh Rolls consists of Thai ice cream machines shipped from China, a hard-top cooler, and a salad/sandwich cooler that stores the homemade milk mixture and cold mix-in ingredients.


This Italian ice cream and espresso dessert saw a nearly 100 percent increase in menu occurrence among full-service restaurants last year. It’s now one of the fastest-growing dessert types, according to Datassential’s 2019 Dessert Trends report.

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89%: The percentage of Americans who report they enjoy ice cream

70%: The percentage of consumers who report they had a frozen dessert in the past week. Source: Datassential

Defining Global Frozen Desserts

Kakigori A Japanese dessert, this fluffy shaved ice has origins that date as far back as the 12th century. Restaurant staff use a vintage ice shaver with a sharp blade that resembles a drill with a hand wheel to create fine ice shavings, then flavor the concoction with different syrups. Available at Cha-an Teahouse in New York’s East Village.

Dondurma The name comes from the Turkish word for freezing. The ingredients in this dense, taffy-like stretchy ice cream include milk, sugar, salep (a derivative of orchids) and mastic, which yields the elasticity. Available at Cedars Pastry in New York and Marash Ice Cream in Las Vegas.

Mochi Squishy and sweet, these Japanese frozen rice cakes are made by pounding mochigome, a short-grain rice, into a glutinous mix, then infusing it with different flavors. It’s traditionally shaped into balls and served frozen. Available as a self-serve option in reach-in freezers at Whole Foods Market locations.

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