America's Relationship With Ice Cream Is Changing in a Pretty Big Way

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream … well, kind of. According to a recent report by Freedonia Focus Reports, the demand for ice cream and frozen desserts in the United States is expected to drop by 2.3% every year until 2025. The reason? Consumers are moving away from high-sugar, high-fat foods and choosing more "premium ice creams, which are sold in small quantities," notes the report.

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Specifically, the data includes products like regular ice cream, reduced fat and nonfat ice cream, ice pops, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. Interestingly, it doesn't include non-dairy frozen items, like ice cream, cakes, and pies.

When you consider the reason behind the prediction, it makes a lot of sense. In recent years, consumers have become more aware of the foods they eat — and, more importantly, ​what​ is in those foods. In fact, according to a report by FrieslandCampina Food & Beverage, "conscious indulgence" is on the rise. Translation: Consumers are seeking deliciously comforting foods with a healthier spin.

What are some healthier ice cream alternatives?

Thankfully, when it comes to ice cream and other frozen desserts, it's becoming increasingly easy to do just that. For example, Halo Top is known for their flavorful low-sugar, low-calorie frozen treats. There's also Yasso, a brand that makes frozen Greek yogurt desserts like bars, ice cream sandwiches, and bites called Poppables. The latter is even coated in chocolate and crunchy quinoa — just saying.

There are also myriad non-dairy frozen treats, like Oatly's ice creams. Heck, even brands like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's are getting in on the non-dairy fun.

Of course, it's worth noting that all types of ice cream have a place in a healthy diet. But if you're looking for frozen desserts with a health-conscious (or plant-based) slant, you have a lot of options. Until then, we're curious to see how mainstream ice cream brands will fare in the coming years.

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Kirsten Nunez is a writer and author who focuses on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, Martha Stewart, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.