What’s tastier than enjoying a bowl of ice cream? For Muffin Town, the bakery manufacturing sector of Lawrence, Mass.-based JSB Industries, Inc., the answer was simple: eating the frozen treat in an edible bowl — made of chocolate cake.
But it doesn’t just have to be filled with ice cream. The company’s new Chocolate Cake Dessert Bowls can hold fruit, yogurt, pudding and other desserts or even snacks.
It was invented as a sweet spinoff to a savory idea.
“We developed a cornbread bowl last year as a carrier for chili, mac and cheese, scrambled eggs and more,” said Jack Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Muffin Town. “The cornbread bowl has been such a success that the idea of making a chocolate dessert bowl was a natural progression. We wanted to offer a versatile product that would be a carrier for desserts.”
Produced in a peanut- and tree-nut-free facility, the 290-calorie bowls were originally made for food service but now come in packaging formats for retail. Consumers can choose from a pack of 2, 6 or 20. Prebaked and frozen, the 3-oz treat has a shelf life of 365 days frozen or five days at room temperature.
Although chocolate is currently the only dessert bowl flavor, Muffin Town is always innovating.
“With all our new products, when we launch, we expect great success,” Mr. Anderson said. “But we know it takes six to eight months for it to be well received, and then orders come in. When this becomes popular, we will launch new flavors.”
The biggest challenge in developing the Chocolate Cake Dessert Bowls was its greatest draw: its shape. Although the equipment used to produce the product is a standard industrial oven, the baking pans had to be made with cavities that create the precise bowl structure.
“Creativity and versatility are the two main characteristics of our new Chocolate Cake Dessert Bowls,” said Roger Piffer, marketing director, JSB Industries. “Simply thaw and serve to create a dessert for any holiday or celebration. Each 3-oz bowl has a beautiful presentation and easily turns regular desserts and sundaes into deliciously inviting treats.”
In food service, chefs can use the Chocolate Cake Dessert Bowls to show off their desserts. While consumers might go the simple route of scooping ice cream into the center of the bowls, they have the option to create a masterpiece as well. People will find menu suggestions on the Muffin Town web site that coincide with the bowls in visually appealing presentations from cookie dough ice cream with whipped cream, graham crackers and chocolate sauce to chocolate pudding with gummy worms and crushed cookies.
Creativity — and personalization — is key with the bowls. It’s the first step to crafting a decadent dessert and carrying those sweet flavors from the icebox to the table.