I had a meeting the other day with an Ice Cream Executive. We were talking about marketing and what to do with today's foods. He has an Ice Cream Store and he is best friends with a guy that owns a Jamba Juice. He said that Jamba Juice is the fastest Up and Coming in the US market because they offer "health". "How do I compete with that?"
Manufacturers have to start making their food more functional, period! Gelato is the best kept secret of the ice cream world. Gelato is low in fat, and if you use a natural, low glycemic sweetener, its a wonderful treat that won't come back to haunt you or your kids later in life.
Jamba Juice can offer fiber and whole fruits, even vegetables in a raw form, which is far better and far more functional in fighting disease than McDonald's shakes...obviously a better and healthier choice, but not far to compromise when you are negotiating with kids and their taste buds.
I offered some advise for this executive and business owner...develop your products with less fat and low glycemic natural sweeteners like The Original SugarBlend or SweetR Gourmet. Put your product in cones that are not only tasty, but high in protein and fiber like FlourBlend. Put some function in the treats that your are delivering to the public.
I had to laugh when the business owner said, "With the problems of Obesity in this nation, it's a little hard to encourage them to come in and have a bowl of ice cream!" So make it a functional treat! Ice cream stores don't need to market soups or salads are anything like that to sell their passion, but they can add function to their menu.
I had an uncle that is very into health issues. When I told him that I was developing alternatives to processed foods, that were all natural and low glycemic he said... "you shouldn't even be thinking about giving these people alternatives, they just need to stop consuming those products!" I told him that I am a mother, so I understand how hard it is to compete with the food industry and peer pressure. I found it a much better way to compromise then to dictate to.
I cook with Whole Wheat Flour and add lots of fiber. I cook with prune puree to replace fat and some of our ButterBlend which influences the thyroid and the metabolism(But cooks and tastes like Butter!). I do a lot of compromising in the kitchen in order to give my family the taste they want, the texture they can deal with and the function that I demand for their health.
My kids don't eat ice cream...they eat Gelato, home made and with real fruit and low glycemic sweeteners (SweetR and SugarBlend). If they get a cone, it's made the old fashioned way with whole grains and nut flours...which sets the flavor of the Gelato off even more. They don't get Gelato every day, maybe a cone every couple weeks, they don't eat treats everyday...but when they do get a treat, I make sure that it functions in their body to make them healthy and strong.
D.S. Epperson is the top formulator for Home Blend Gourmet / South Pacific Health, a leader in the functional food industry in the U.S.. With 20 years of experience in Nutritional Biochemistry, she has written reference books on botanicals and manufacturing of medicines from botanicals, and published articles on health, fitness and foods. She has formulated over 240 formulas and inventions for health, the environment and agricultural uses, and continues to research and study microbial advantages in nutraceuticals and functional foods.