The Dessert House Boom


Dessert houses were relatively unknown on the UK high street up until around a decade ago. Since then, we have witnessed what can only be described as a dessert house boom, as the culture of consuming desserts at any time of the day continues to evolve.

The Key Players


Franchised operator Creams – who lead the franchised sector with over 80 outlets – saw a gap in the market for flamboyant desserts in 2008, after recognising that restaurants were neglecting dessert menus. Their extravagant waffles, crepes and ice cream sundaes, which had never been seen on the high-street before, saw customers queuing out of the door for a taste of the sweet stuff.
Following the success of Creams; other franchises including Kaspas, Treatz and Heavenly Desserts have enjoyed similar success. Kaspa’s have expanded from 14 stores in 2015 to over 70 stores in 2019, with more reportedly in development. Treatz also continues to grow with 19 store openings since the brand came into action in 2012.

Credit: @kaspasdesserts
Credit: @creamscafeuk

Insta heroes


Social media is undeniably a huge platform for dessert houses to showcase their quirky creations to the masses and create a buzz around their business. The ‘Dessert’ hashtag has a whopping 47.2 million posts on Instagram with users showcasing their delicious treats all over the globe.
Here’s a few dessert houses that are nailing their dessert offering both in-house and in cyber space:
Credit: @milktraincafe
By combining two childhood favourite treats, ice cream and candy floss, Milk Train has a range of unique ice-cream and candy-floss flavours including sweet and savoury recipes. Situated in arguably one of the most Instagrammable spots in London, customers flock to the café to get their hands on a nostalgic dessert and for that all important photo opp.
Credit: @chinchinicecream
Looking more like a science lab than an ice cream parlour, Chin Chin Labs is Europe's First Liquid Nitrogen Ice-Cream Parlour. Dubbed ‘the best ice cream parlour in England’ by The Times, Chin Chin serve up griddled cookies, hot sticky toffee puddings and banana jam pies to name a few, all topped with a selection of ice cream, sauces and all Brûléed for good measure.
Credit: @softservesociety
Inspired by Asia’s soft-serve ice cream parlours, Soft Serve Society is a dessert bar that specialises in premium ice creams, freakshakes and sundaes plus an assortment of lavish toppings including bubble waffles, honeycomb pieces and gourmet popcorn. Since opening, Instagram has been plastered with their unusual liquorice and black sesame ice creams which has proved to be a big hit in cyber-space.


Up and Coming Trends


There’s no denying that we, as a nation, love a dessert and many of us feel that a meal is not complete without it. Whether it’s a freakshake, waffles or a bowl of gooey cookie dough, the variety of desserts to choose from on restaurant menus is greater than ever. Many dessert houses now have laboratory style setups to test the latest ingredients and machines on offer to stay ahead of the competition. But what are consumers really looking for when it comes to desserts?

See our top 5 dessert trends! 
Credit: @creepysnap
1. Nutritious yet delicious: High protein ice cream has already been a huge trend this year, with brands such as Halo Top sweeping across the globe with their high protein, low calorie ice cream tubs and sticks.
Credit: @mietowka_cafe_ice_cream
2. The greener the better: Vegetable ingredients in ice cream has been a growing trend that shows no sign of stopping. Beetroot’s bright colouring has been sneaking into sorbets, whilst avocado remains a common ingredient in vegan ice creams with its rich and creamy texture.
Credit: @tipseycream.mnl
3. All about the booze: Whether its Sangria in your sorbet or Bailey’s in your brownies, adult-only versions of sweet treats are still on trend and growing this year.
Credit: @yorkicamoments
4. Softly does it: The nostalgia associated with soft serve ice cream has ensured its popularity in the UK, but its versatility and ability to carry interesting and on-trend toppings & sauces has brought its popularity to new levels.
Credit: @beautyfoodblog
5. The year of the vegan: More consumers are giving up dairy – either because of dietary or ethical reasons – which means outlets are focusing on releasing high-quality plant-based desserts to offer their vegan customers.

DIY Desserts

One common factor with Dessert houses is that most will make their ice cream in-house, rather than buying in a ready-made product. This helps to help give more diversity and flexibility with flavours and ingredients, as well as allowing them to introduce seasonal, limited edition or themed offerings. No longer is a simple ice cream or chocolate dessert satisfy the majority of customers, therefore developing a menu with a broader selection of flavours helps to distinguish a dessert house’s offering.
Another angle growing in popularity is putting the control in the hands of the customer. By allowing the customer to create their own dishes from a selection of toppings, sauces, cones, and even multiple flavours, the consumer can personalise their final dessert. By offering a selection of freshly sourced ingredients, customers are not only more aware of what they’re eating but are also given more control.
The Mitchell & Cooper range of Nemox Gelato machines provide outlets with the perfect solution for creating delicious and inventive ice creams in-house. The Nemox 4K Touch in particular has a clear lid, positioned at the top of the unit so that customers can get a clear view of the production of their ice cream.
Alternatively, the Nemox Gelato 5 Plus 5K Twin Crea offers dual production simultaneously, thus enabling operators to create two flavours at once to ensure greater menu flexibility. With 4 production programmes to choose from including Gelato Classico, Semi-soft Ice Cream, Granita and Shock Freezing, operators are able to create a wide variety of ice creams to offer customers. For dessert houses consistently producing large quantities of ice cream, the Nemox Gelato 12K reigns supreme. Able to produce an impressive 12kg of ice cream or gelato every hour, the Nemox Gelato 12K delivers superb output whilst proving exceptionally easy to use. These machines are completely autonomous, leaving you free to focus on other tasks whilst the ice cream takes care of itself.


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