Winning Combination

Norse Dairy Systems and Virginia Dare join forces at Process Expo.
Ice cream novelty producers, major retail chains and thousands of other attendees enthusiastically voted for their favorite new ice cream novelty with their taste buds and their feet at the new Tasting Pavilion at Process Expo 2006 in Chicago.
One major reason for the pavilion’s popularity was the booth shared by Norse Dairy Systems (NDS) and Virginia Dare, which combined efforts to offer six unique, specially created ice cream novelties to Expo attendees. They teamed up with a theme of “Winning Combinations” to allow attendees to taste and discuss the benefits of involving key suppliers early in the new product development process. By the end of the show, almost 10,000 specially produced ice cream novelties were handed out.
The winner, in terms of the number of samples handed out, was the peach cobbler ice cream sandwich — a rich, indulgent peach ice cream flavor created by Virginia Dare between two specially developed wafers with subtle hints of brown sugar and cinnamon, created by Norse Dairy Systems.
Close behind the favorite was the cinnamon bun-flavored cone, filled with a rich coffee-flavored ice cream. Other popular items included a dulce de leche ice cream cone and a vanilla ice cream sandwich flavored with pure Bourbon vanilla extract.
The objective of the cooperative effort was to give producers and private label users an opportunity to see and taste how creative the results can be when flavor experts and ingredient providers get together early in the product development process.
The one-of-a-kind taste treats offered at the show also included a key lime ice cream cup with graham cracker inclusions and a pear anisette cup. Each specialty combined unique flavor notes created by Virginia Dare’s R&D team and the specially created cones, wafers and inclusions that have made NDS the leading source of products, systems and ideas for the ice cream novelty industry.
“These samples are a fun way to get some of our current customers, as well as some prospects, to start to think about including us and their flavor provider much earlier in the product development process,” says Gunther Brinkman, vice president of marketing for Norse Dairy Systems. “Normally the flavor sources are called in, then we get a call to meet and discuss the wafer, cone or inclusion alternatives later in the process. In this case we were able to fine-tune the flavor of the wafers in the peach cobbler ice cream sandwich. We carefully adjusted the amount of brown sugar and cinnamon in the wafers to perfectly complement the peach ice cream. It’s a great example of one of the major advantages of early cooperative involvement.
“We’ve already had several major ice cream novelty manufacturers set up meetings following the show. We also had one of the top five major retail grocery chain operations talk to us about working with them on some signature flavors and ideas for their private label novelties.”
Paul Graffigna, vice president of marketing for Virginia Dare, says it’s one thing to talk about being innovative, but it’s a much more powerful message when new concepts can be tasted firsthand. “The many ‘Wow!’ reactions we received as people tasted these new flavor combinations bore that out,” he says. “The very positive comments spoke volumes to us about how early collaboration can yield great results.”
Virginia Dare set the industry standard for vanilla more than 80 years ago. Now, with thousands of flavors to work with for dairy, beverage, bakery and confectionery, Virginia Dare is a first choice for innovative flavor solutions.
Norse Dairy Systems provides some of the most innovative products in the frozen novelty industry in the form of flavored and textured cones, wafers and baked inclusions that help give the frozen novelty industry its innovative character. NDS is the leading industry partner for ice cream novelty producers and marketers in developing new products and production solutions to improve worker safety, productivity and profitability.
If the popularity of the booth, with almost 10,000 novelties handed out to Expo attendees is any indication, there’s no doubt that many of them liked the idea of a joint approach to new product development.

— Norse Dairy Systems, Box 1869, Columbus, Ohio, 43216, phone: (614) 294-4931, fax: (614) 291-6127, Web site: www.norse.com; Virginia Dare, 882 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11232, phone: (718) 788-1776, fax: (718) 768-3978, Web site: www.virginiadare.com