IF YOU thought the year of the food hybrid was behind us, think again.
Because Arnotts and Peters Drumstick ice cream have joined forces to create a sweet yet salty fusion, using Aussie snacking staple Jatz biscuits.
Dubbed the Sweet & Salty Cracker Drumstick, the combo delivers a cracker flavoured ice cream encased in a waffle cone with maple syrup drizzled on top.
The collaboration follows the launch of Iced Vovo, Mint Slice, Wagon Wheels and Caramel Crowns, which all made it in to an ice cream tub in July last year.
The Drumstick, which has been around since 1963, sold around 98 million cones in 2017 alone.
According to IBISWorld, the $1 billion ice cream industry in Australia has surged ahead in the past five years, with industry revenue at an annual growth of 3.6 per cent over the five years to 2017-18.
Niche operators that provide premium ice cream and gourmet gelato products have been extremely successful over the past five years, despite increasing consumer health consciousness and the growing popularity of substitute snacks for health reasons.
Stephen Gargano, IBISWorld senior industry analyst, told SmartCompany in 2015 that ice-cream manufacturers have benefited from rising demand for premium products in recent times, a trend that will only continue to grow.
"Niche operators that provide premium ice cream and gourmet gelato products have proven to be extremely successful over the past five years," Mr Gargano said.
Despite supermarkets and grocery stores being a strong source of sales, gelato and ice cream shops have benefited from positioning themselves at the premium end of the market.
"Operators that have been able to faithfully reproduce quality ice cream products from abroad have been particularly successful. These products are typically homemade and benefit from a high degree of perceived quality," Mr Gargano said.
"As a result, consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay premium prices for these products, boosting revenue from these operators.
"Local gourmet products are making an increasingly large contribution to the industry, with Harry's Ice Cream Co providing a key example. The company provides a range of unique, interesting flavours, with products made locally from Australian produce.
"These local products benefit from the high perceived quality of the 'made in Australia' brand. Consumers are attracted by the attention-grabbing range of flavours, encouraging them to pay the premium price tag."
The $4.20 Jatz Cracker fusion will be in selected supermarket shelves from today, while $8 multipacks will be available from January 10.
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