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Ice Cream Packaging Trends 2021-2022

The packaging we choose for our frozen dessert products serves many purposes such as protecting the product from external damage during transportation or allowing the product to be stored correctly and safely on a supermarket shelf or in the freezer at home. Good packaging will ensure that your product remains intact throughout its journey along the supply chain all the way from manufacturer to end user, but its purpose also goes far beyond this.

Your packaging choice is also extremely important from a branding and marketing perspective. The packaging your potential customer sees is often their first point of contact with your brand and it therefore needs to be a memorable one, both visually and in terms of the practical user experience.

It is common knowledge that attracting new customers is more expensive than retaining your existing ones so ensuring they have a positive and memorable first experience with your brand is essential in converting a new customer into a repeat one.

Designing the perfect packaging for your frozen dessert product is about finding the balance between the technical and creative aspects. Your packaging has to be aligned with the rest of your product and brand so that your customers can fully understand the purpose and benefits of your product at multiple communication points on the pack.


One example of this is to take an environmentally-focused brand who wants to align their packaging with their eco-friendly ice cream product. They might look for paper-based ice cream packaging, upcycled options, or other plastic-free packaging solutions in which to showcase their product.

Sacred Serve (pictured here) achieved this with their 100%-recyclable, plastic-free ice cream carton that is also biodegradable and compostable. Planet Foods were also the first in the industry to create their eco-friendly sugar-cane packaging to align with their carbon-negative ice cream range. They are just two of many brands in the frozen dessert industry that are making the move to recyclable and more environmentally-friendly ice cream packaging solutions. How soon before this becomes the new norm in the industry? We predict very soon!


Ice cream packaging is also becoming more technologically-savvy with companies like Gram Equipment offering the option of printing digital QR codes on ice cream pints to allow the final consumer the option of finding all the relevant information regarding the traceability of their ice cream on the pack. To learn more about how the traceability packaging system works in today’s market, read our recent article with Gram Equipment here.

Unilever has been at the forefront of connected packaging with brands like Magnum testing it out back in 2018 as a way to improve the way consumers recycle. More recently, they also included a QR code in Magnum-designed beach towels. By scanning the QR code, you could get your MAGNUM ice cream delivered to you in less than 30 minutes! More information here.


We also recently spoke about the considerations of selling ice cream online and with the rise in eCommerce ice cream opportunities post-pandemic, the choice of ice cream packaging that brands are using may need to be adapted to this new way of selling online in order to suit a more direct-to-consumer supply chain approach. For example, partnering with delivery companies like Uber Eats or Deliveroo may result in the need for more single-serve sizes like frozen dessert cups or smaller ice cream tubs.

This creates new opportunities for a different ice cream experience at home, changing the codes of traditional packaging. SMÖOY, in Spain, launched a retail pack which includes both the ice cream and separate variegates in small 30g pouches, allowing the consumer to re-create the parlour experience at home.

Another example of this is lactose-free ice cream brand, Beckon, who introduced a lid compartment for toppings in their ice cream snack cup, something commonly seen in the yogurt category, but never before in ice cream. Learn more about the new innovation in our September What’s New article.

According to PR Newswire, pouches are forecast to experience the fastest growth among ice cream packaging types in the frozen dessert category over the next three years largely due to the rise in novelties. This projected growth could also be driven by the demand for at-home ice cream experiences enhanced during our time in lockdown. Global packaging technology firm, Scholle IPN, provides their customers with a “freeze and squeeze” pouch (bottom left) for recreating soft-serve ice cream at home. Aice also recently created a standing ice cream pouch for their Indonesian customers that can be purchased frozen or unfrozen.

In summary, the future of ice cream packaging is going to be a) better for the environment with more recyclable and eco-friendly solutions, and b) better for the consumer with more convenient and easy-to-use and store options available.

Choosing the right packaging solution for your brand can be overwhelming but to help you on your journey, below is a quick checklist of some key considerations to take into account when choosing a packaging solution for your ice cream or frozen dessert brand:

  • How well will your packaging contain and protect your product along the cold chain in the short AND long term?

  • How convenient and easy-to-open or use is your packaging for the customer?

  • Does your packaging have space to effectively communicate the purpose and benefits of your product as well as the information required by law in each country you are present in?

  • Can your brand be easily portrayed on pack and stand out on shelf?

  • Is the packaging shelf-ready and if not, how can you achieve this?

  • What materials will your packaging incorporate and do they align with your brand values?

Have we missed anything or is there anything you would like to add to this ice cream packaging trends overview?

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Founded by former executives in the Ice Cream industry, INNODELICE aims to create a worldwide ecosystem of solutions within the frozen dessert industry. Thanks to the relationships fostered by INNODELICE, manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and suppliers can discover, buy and sell solutions to GROW their business. These solutions include co-manufactured and branded products as well as innovative and competitive ingredients, packaging and services. Our collaboration model generates lower costs and fewer risks for our participating partners while optimising their time to market. To learn more about INNODELICE, contact Nicolas MARIE (, Andrea MONTREUIL ( or visit


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