Is America Still Sweet On Ice Cream?

Ice Cream

ARCTIC ZERO’s National Ice Cream Month survey reveals that prevalence of dietary restrictions and concern about sugars influence whether we love it or leave it.

Americans have enjoyed ice cream for centuries – Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both known to serve the treat to their guests.1 A new national survey2 conducted this month by an independent research firm for ARCTIC ZERO® Fit Frozen Desserts® illustrates that today’s Americans are not feeling as free to indulge in ice cream as our Founding Fathers did.

Among the findings: While 99% of people like ice cream, more than half of Americans say they do not eat ice cream or limit their consumption due to “health” concerns. That includes those who feel ice cream isn’t a healthy choice (22%), those who are trying to lose weight or stay fit (17%), and the increasingly significant percentage of Americans who say they are managing dietary restrictions (16%). Nearly one in five shoppers reported regularly avoiding the ice cream section at the grocery store – half of them noting they did not want to be tempted to purchase ice cream.

Amit Pandhi, CEO of ARCTIC ZERO Fit Frozen Desserts, notes that the survey underscores the health consciousness of today’s consumers and the growing demand for a healthier frozen dessert option that respects dietary needs such as those due to diabetes or lactose intolerance.

“Everyone still wants to indulge a sweet tooth and enjoy a fun and flavorful frozen dessert. Yet, collectively we are becoming more careful about our choices – paying attention to ingredients, nutritional value, dietary restrictions and preferences and how our indulgences make us feel,” said Pandhi.

When measured against data gathered in June 2016, the number of Americans reporting dietary restrictions increased by six percent. In addition, more than half (53%) of those surveyed reported that they either always or frequently read the ingredient labels on ice cream or frozen desserts before eating or purchasing – up from 45% last year.

Making Careful Choices

Among the other findings of the survey, which was conducted by a third-party research firm:

  • 7 in 10 people say they crave ice cream on average at least once a week – nearly a quarter have the craving every day.
  • Yet, 60% of respondents report resisting indulging an ice cream craving within the last month, primarily because:
    • Too high in calories (45%)
    • Too much sugar (42%)
    • Too much fat (36%)
    • Contains ingredients that make them feel ill, or contains too many artificial ingredients (colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, etc.) (23%)
  • The amount of sugar per serving was also cited as the most important factor for those who evaluate the nutritional content of their frozen desserts and ice creams.
  • One in ten of those who don’t shop the ice cream section avoid it because they or a family member has a dietary restriction, including low sugar diets due to diabetes or other reasons (50%), lactose sensitivity or intolerance (46%), gluten sensitivity or intolerance (44%), Kosher diets (39%), and GMO-free diets (38%).
  • 48% percent of survey respondents believe a frozen dessert sweetened with organic cane sugar and monk fruit is healthier for them versus only 20% who feel that ice creams containing sugar alcohols are better for them. Sugar alcohols such as erythritol have been known to cause gastrointestinal cramping for some, and studies examining its potential effect on metabolism and weight gain are underway by leading health researchers.

The Rise of a Cleaner Alternative

ARCTIC ZERO conducts the National Ice Cream Month survey every summer to track developing frozen dessert category trends and preferences.

“As our survey shows, only one percent of the population doesn’t like ice cream – but of those who enjoy it, only 45 percent eat it regularly without concern,” said Amit Pandhi. “Millions of Americans want to be able to indulge without compromising their health or their fitness goals. Dietary restrictions and considerations are a key driver of this response and we see this trend in our other marketing research. ARCTIC ZERO created the Fit Frozen Desserts category to give health-conscious people who love ice cream a reason to reach into the freezer again.”

ARCTIC ZERO is a low-calorie, low-sugar, lactose-free, ice cream alternative. All ARCTIC ZERO products are made from hormone-free whey protein, are GMO-free and are sweetened with low-calorie monk fruit concentrate and organic cane sugar. ARCTIC ZERO contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and comes in many gluten-free flavors.

The brand was founded by Greg Holtman, who was inspired by caring for his mother, who was a Type-1 diabetic. While she loved sweets, particularly ice cream, most desserts contained artificial sweeteners and ingredients. In the years since Holtman’s solution has become a favorite treat for millions of Americans with dietary restrictions.

ARCTIC ZERO is a leader in the better-for-you frozen desserts movement, which is driving the growth of the overall frozen desserts category.  Overall, sales of lactose-free/nondairy frozen desserts grew more than 50% last year.

Of those survey respondents who resisted their recent cravings for ice cream, 49% said they turn to frozen desserts other than ice cream to satisfy their cravings.

“We want people to feel free to enjoy a delicious frozen dessert without guilt or concern about ingredients, so we aim to be the cleanest label ice cream alternative in the frozen desserts aisle,” said Pandhi.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with ARCTIC ZERO’s Freedom Tour

To celebrate the freedom to indulge without compromise, ARCTIC ZERO has been on a nationwide “Freedom Tour” visiting some of the hottest spots and events of summer and offering free samples of creamy, delicious ARCTIC ZERO.

Upcoming stops include a National Ice Cream Day celebration in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 16. The ARCTIC ZERO mobile unit will be in the parking lot of Whole Foods in Santa Monica, 500 Wilshire Blvd. from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. distributing free, frosty ARCTIC ZERO samples.

ARCTIC ZERO will be at the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center from July 20-23. Free admission to the expo includes product sampling, hosted workouts and demos.

On Saturday, July 29, ARCTIC ZERO will take part in the celebrity-studded annual Super Saturday event at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York. The only Freedom Tour stop which requires a ticket purchase, Super Saturday is a benefit for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.

The final Freedom Tour stop is in ARCTIC ZERO’s home town of the Taste of Fitness event at Coronado Tidelands Park from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, August 12. The festival features live music, fitness, and food with product samples from ARCTIC ZERO and other San Diego-based natural foods and healthy lifestyle brands.  Fitness activities include an HIIT workout and a yoga class.

An official Freedom Tour soundtrack playlist, featuring the best sounds of summer as curated by ARCTIC ZERO’s employees and fans, can be found on the ARCTIC ZERO channel on Spotify®.

For more information and updates on the ARCTIC ZERO National Ice Cream Month survey results or Freedom Tour, including when ARCTIC ZERO may be in your city, visit and follow ARCTIC ZERO on InstagramFacebook, and @myarcticzero on Twitter.

Followers of ARCTIC ZERO’s social media can enter their National Ice Cream Day Giveaway on Sunday, July 16 to enter to win a Pint Party prize pack. Five winners will receive 10 pints of ARCTIC ZERO, a branded insulated grocery tote bag, two scoopers and two heart-shaped bowls. Winners will be selected at random and announced on Monday, July 17.  #IceCream #sugar


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