At the risk of sounding like a lot of other speculative food articles out there, I am here to tell you definitively that the new cupcake is not pie, macarons or mini-canelés. Several authoritative sources indicate that the new cupcake is indeed, the popsicle. Specifically: the gourmet popsicle.
The reasons for the gourmet popsicle’s impending supremacy in the world of sweet treats are many, including the very important but rare quality of being alluring to both consumers and producers. Let’s take a closer look at the factors contributing to their widespread appeal.
Ice pops are a highly flexible treat, offering a lot of room for creativity and innovation. This is appealing to customers and operators alike, with consumers’ demands for new and exciting menu items growing by the day. To get an idea of just how versatile a snack the ice pop is, here is a sampling of some of the inventions that have cropped up around the nation:
- Pineapple cilantro: this refreshing treat is offered by the Hyppo, located in St. Augustine, Florida.
- Mango cotton candy: this sweet and lighthearted popsicle comes from Peckman’s Pops in Arizona.
- Apricot saffron pistachio: a unique blend brought to you by Dairy Godmother of Alexandria, VA.
Popsicles are also appealing in that they can be a healthy yet highly satisfying treat. There are many popsicle stands and stores out there making pops from organic or natural ingredients as well as fresh fruits and fruit juices, which makes them perfect for today’s health-conscious consumers.
- Chocolate-raspberry frozen yogurt: this 100-calorie recipe comes from Eating Well.
- Thai iced coffee: Women’s Health Magazine presents this amazing popsicle with only 70 calories.
- Avocado Fudgescicle: this recipe comes from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen and has healthy unusual ingredients such as avocado and dates.
However, popsicles are in no way limited to healthy options only, and that’s the beauty. In addition to lending themselves easily to all natural fruit flavors and frozen yogurt creations, popsicles can also be dipped in chocolate, made from ice cream or stuffed with cookie dough. With popsicles, there is something for every consumer.
- Beer float: Endless Simmer brings us this tasty popsicle, made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate stout.
- Frozen Hot Chocolate: For everyone who misses hot chocolate in the summer! Made with marshmallows and everything, from Kitchen Encounters.
Popsicles are a popular choice for food truck start-up ventures, but they are also a great menu addition for existing restaurants. They do not require a lot of extra equipment, probably just a commercial blender, some popsicle sticks and molds. They also don’t require much time and can easily adapt to a number of different restaurant concepts. Popsicles can be made from a wide variety of ingredients, so it would be easy to introduce a new popsicle concept without stocking a host of new items. Some enterprising bar operators are adding boozy adult pops to the menu as well.
Unlike other potential “new cupcakes” out there, gourmet popsicles have all of the appeal of flexibility, convenience and deliciousness that cupcakes do, but with the added benefit of being adaptable to the ever-growing demand for healthier foods.