Restaurant meal ideas: Olive oil, black pepper coming to ice cream

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The combination of olive oil and ice cream emerged in 2015 as a handful of brands introduced this product to retail. Olive oil had already grown as a new ice cream trend in foodservice and among bloggers over the past few years.

The olive oil idea stems from the rise of sea salt used in ice creams, as the number of global ice cream launches that featured sea salt as a flavor or ingredient tripled in the two years ending July 2015.

As another savory flavor to offset the traditional sweetness of ice cream, black pepper, while not big at retail yet, is growing in popularity among small parlors, boutiques, and food trucks, which may inspire more manufacturers to pick up on the savory trend.

Restaurant meal ideas are making their way to manufacturers and then retailers in less time now because of social media, Nestle USA’s Jeff Hamilton, president of prepared foods, told Food Dive earlier this year.

“Where it used to take four to five years for an idea to go from one small restaurant in San Francisco or New York to being something that you might find on the shelves of Wal-Mart … today that can frequently happen in one to two years,” according to Hamilton.

Hot new flavors for ice cream aren’t only relegated to small producers and boutique ice cream parlors.

Ben & Jerry’s, under the Unilever umbrella, is creating craft beer ice cream, Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale, in partnership with New Belgium Brewing.

This will be the second collaboration between the two companies, as earlier this year, they released the ice cream’s complementary beer, Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. The ice cream will hit retail in November and be on shelves through the holiday season.

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