Fitting Finale

Desserts have been part of the limited-service restaurant landscape for decades. Whether it’s cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, or other goodies, consumers continue to seek these typically indulgent items to add to their meal or as a stand-alone treat.

In recent years, operators have added numerous dessert items, including many that don’t include chocolate. These days, fruits, cinnamon, peanut butter, and vanilla—the most popular ice cream and frozen yogurt flavor—are increasingly leveraged in dessert innovation.

Beyond the Promo

Consumers are bombarded with advertisements every day, from commercials during their favorite TV shows to sponsored Facebook ads on their newsfeed.

Rather than getting lost in the shuffle, limited-service brands are looking to a new approach to marketing to increase their brand awareness and build trust with consumers: content marketing.

Content marketing goes beyond the traditional promotions, menu development shout-outs, and marketing campaigns and provides a brand’s customers with content and information that they actually need and want.

Can Ice Cream Survive?

They seemed to pop up almost overnight. In strip malls and on street corners across the country, frozen-yogurt shops suddenly offered an exciting new option for America’s collective sweet tooth, teasing at healthfulness and innovating with self service and customization. Once concentrated mostly in warm coastal cities or urban centers, fro-yo concepts spread to countless towns, suburbs, and neighborhoods across the country, with names like Pinkberry, Red Mango, and Menchie’s.

One to Watch: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

There’s been no lack of new faces and places on the frozen dessert landscape in the past 10 years, but with innovative flavors like Wildberry Lavender ice cream and Riesling Poached Pear sorbet, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams stands out in the crowd.

In 2000, Jeni Britton Bauer was studying art history at Ohio State University and considering career possibilities. She had worked in a French bakery through college and thought pastries might be her calling, so she practiced her skills at home.