Despite so many consumers striving for a healthy diet and cutting back on sugar, it appears that they still love their ice cream. When it comes to indulging, ice cream is the go-to choice for many (including some Dairy Foods' editors). Sales for ice cream are trending up as consumers keep reaching for their favorite frozen treat.

Ice cream and sherbet is a $6.7 billion dollar category and dollar sales have seen a 3.7% boost, and unit sales were up 2.6%, for the 52 weeks June 11, 2017, according Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago.

In celebration of National Ice Cream Month (this editor's favorite month) we are highlighting six new ice cream products that have hit the market in the last several months. Enjoy and then go grab your nearest cone or bowl of ice cream.

No need for a cone

Blue Bell, Brenham, Texas, released its latest flavor — Ice Cream Cone — a vanilla ice cream loaded with dark chocolate-coated cone pieces, chopped roasted peanuts, surrounded by a chocolate sundae sauce swirl. Ice Cream Cone is available for a limited time in half gallon and pint sizes. A 1/2-cup serving contains 220 calories, 11 grams of fat, 20 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein. The suggested retail price for a half gallon is $7.39 and pints are $2.49. The ice cream is sold in stores in the Southeast and Southwest region, including Texas, New Mexico and North Carolina.

Healthy ice cream — and it tastes good too

Los Angeles-based Halo Top Creamery has exploded in popularity this past year with its Halo Top brand. The ice cream, which was originally launched in 2012, is a low-calorie, high-protein and low-sugar ice cream made with all-natural ingredients.

The brand features 17 flavors, which range from 40 to 60 calories, 5 to 7 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein per ½ cup serving. The ice cream contains erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol. Calories per pint are displayed on the packaging, which ranges from 240 to 360 per pint.  

Flavors include: lemon cake, mint chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate, oatmeal cookie, sea salt caramel, s'mores, peanut butter cup and pistachio. The suggested retail price is $4.99-$5.99 and is available in grocery stores nationwide.

Isaly’s ice cream returns to market

Last spring, Isaly’s, Pittsburgh, returned to freezer shelves with Isaly’s Ice Cream. The relaunch of the super-premium ice cream features a recipe that contains only high-quality ingredients including fresh cream and the purest flavors.

The flavors include favorites such as Whitehouse Cherry, Maricopa, vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough. The Maricopa flavor (which features ribbons of butterscotch in vanilla ice cream), contains 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving.

The ice cream is available in stores on the East Coast in Pittsburgh, Southwest Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia for a suggested retail price of $5.99 to 6.99 per quart.

Bring on the butterscotch

Yuengling’s Ice Cream, Orwigsburg, Pa., added two new flavors to its 18-flavor lineup — strawberry (a long-time customer request) and Butterbeer (butter cream and butterscotch ice cream with a butterscotch swirl).

The Butterbeer flavor contains 270 calories, 15 grams of fat, 26 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein per 2/3-cup serving.

The ice cream is sold in pints at Giant and Stop-and-Shop locations on the East Coast, and quarts will be available in the upcoming months. Pint price varies by retailer, but is around $3.69-$3.99.

Special batch ice creams get a new look

Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Ore., reinvented its line of artisanal frozen treats. The company completed a redesign of its existing super-premium line of pint-size ice creams, gelatos and frozen custards.

The design features a cleaner, bolder font, with an emphasis on flavor. Each of the 14 flavors (including peach cobbler frozen custard, chocolate farmstyle gelato and cold brew extra creamy ice cream) in the series has its own unique color. Re-named "Special Batch," a cream-colored band around the lid ties the entire line together to help consumers identify Special Batch items on the shelf and differentiate from Tillamook's 56-ounce premium ice cream.

In addition to rolling out a fresh look, the company introduced two new Special Batch flavors:

  • Cardamom almond butter – Warm and nutty cardamom ice cream with a ribbon of rich, sweet almond butter.
  • Frosted carrot cake – The re-imagination of a classic dessert in ice cream form with nutmeg and cinnamon, swirled with layers of cream cheese frosting and topped with walnuts.

Special Batch products are available at major grocery retailers, including Albertsons in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, Safeway in Northern California, Pacific Northwest and Phoenix, Raley’s in Northern California and Kroger in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. The suggested retail price is $3.99 to $4.49 per pint.

Premium ice cream with over 20 flavors

Carlinville, Ill.-based Prairie Farms launches an ice cream line with simple, premium and natural ingredients. The company is marketing it as "Naturally Good Ice Cream." It's made with milk, cream, sugar and natural flavors.

The line features 21 flavors, including sea salt caramel, chocolate, lemon raspberry cheesecake, country vanilla, Neapolitan, peppermint, rocky road and mint chip. The country vanilla flavor contains 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 17 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein per 2/3-cup serving.

The suggested retail price is $3.99 per 56-ounce square container. They're sold in grocery and convenience stores throughout the Great Lakes, Midsouth and Southeast regions.