Features • Hemglass has created sugar reduced ice creams that customers love. This spring they launched a strawberry ice cream cone, a vanilla ice cream with pear ice cover, and chocolate and vanilla ice cream in a cup and on a stick. And they did it without changing the recipe. Here is how they did it.
Hemglass have a new mixed pack of sugar reduced ice creams. The ice creams are well-known classics and the customers have found the taste to be unusually good – and Hemglass always listen to their customers. Previous no-added-sugar products caused a decline in sales. Now they sell to budget, according to Anders Granath, senior business developer at Hemglass.
Home deliveries is the spirit of the age and the branch is growing exponentially. An old silver back in this field is Hemglass, who celebrated 50 years in existence last year.
– We are now more than ever in the right place at the right time, says Anders Granath.
On the wish list: Sugar reduced ice cream
Hemglass’ business idea is to sell ice cream directly to Swedish homes with a range to suit all ages and preferences. Some ice creams should also be suitable for those who are allergic to or intolerant of various foods. In this range sugar reduced ice creams are included.
Over the years Hemglass has tried to offer packages with a mix of ice creams without added sugar. When the last package didn’t do well it was taken off the market.
– But after a while our franchisers brought to our attention that customers were still asking for such a package. And four years ago it became my task to find a replacement, says Anders Granath.
Surprisingly good taste
Everybody in our product group was surprised at the good taste
Hemglass applies private label - letting others produce the ice cream according to their recipes. One ice cream maker was tasked with developing new sugar reduced products. And soon samples of sugar reduced ice cream were presented to Hemglass.
– We were won over in an instant. The taste was really good. It didn’t feel artificial and didn’t have any off-taste, which I find artificial sweeteners can have. Everybody in our product group were surprised at the good taste, says Anders Granath.
The art of making ice cream without added sugar to taste good is all about the sugar replacer. Behind the taste, aroma and mouth feel of the new ice creams is Bayn’s sugar replacer Eureba D-01. The sweetening comes from ingredients from natural sources, and the solution allows ice cream and food manufacturers to exchange the sugar 1:1. Earlier studies also show that the solution gives a crystallisation very similar to that of ice cream sweetened with sugar.
In February in 2019 the new package was launched. it contains Jordgubbsstrut (strawberry ice cream cone), Päronsplit (vanilla ice cream with pear ice cover), Vaniljbägare, a cup of vanilla ice cream with chocolate ripple and Chokladvaniljpinne (chocolate covered vanilla ice cream). Classic ice creams for the whole family, but now with Eureba as the sugar reducer.
The response from customers is positive, says Anders Granath, and the sales figures are completely in line with budget.
– This is a niched product but an important part of our range. If Hemglass can’t offer ice creams without added sugar the risk is great that the customers won’t buy any ice cream from us at all. Choosing instead to buy in a shop, says Anders Granath.
Meeting the customers’ needs
Hemglass is currently investigating how the newly launched sugar reduced ice creams are doing in sense of customer satisfaction. Pricewise they are comparable to the rest of the range. If the demand for sugar reduced ice creams increases, it is possible that Hemglass will increase the range.
– I am thinking a completely new dairy ice cream without added sugar, or remaking an existing ice cream from our own range. No decisions have been taken, but if the customers demand it, it will be so, says Anders Granath.
A healthier choice
The Swedes do love their ice cream. In Europe Swedes claim second place in eating the most ice cream. Twelve litres of ice cream per person and year is gulped down, according the association for Swedish ice cream makers. Only our neighbours in Finland eat more.
At the same time more and more consumers are health conscious.
Hemglass, with Anders Granath leading the way, are keeping their eyes on current trends. The trend to eat healthy is holding strong.
– We see protein ice creams and other ice creams with ingredients that signal healthy eating. But if it’s a passing trend or if it will remain so is more difficult to tell. Our motto is to eat well but in moderation. That means you can enjoy a really nice dairy ice cream once in a while too, he says.
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