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Ice Cream and desserts - UK - June 2016

“Opportunities are ripe for operators to explore healthier formulations in ice cream and desserts, with significant interest in low-sugar and low-fat products. Resizing offers another potential route to explore in ice cream, while tapping into the ‘health halo’ of yogurts and fruit snacks offer desserts a potential way forward in this space.”
– Anita Winther, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics for the ice cream market UK:

  • High interest in healthier and smaller ice cream formats
  • Opportunities are ripe for low-sugar desserts
  • Heatable sauces could add value to ice cream

The recent downward trend in ice cream volume sales continued in 2015. The negative media focus on sugar, competition from other snacks and lacklustre summer weather have all played a role. The same factors are at play in the dessert market, which has similarly seen continuous volume decline in recent years.

With these factors expected to continue to exert pressure on these markets, further decline is predicted in both areas. Rising real incomes however hold the hope of scope for premiumisation, even as the outlook for volumes remains lacklustre. That healthier variants would be widely welcomed by consumers also points to potential for the market to look to NPD to curb cutting back.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Ice cream
          • Desserts
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Ice cream volumes continue to fall in 2015
                  • Figure 1: UK retail sales of ice cream, by value, 2011-21
                • Another challenging year for desserts
                  • Figure 2: UK retail sales of desserts, by value, 2011-21
                • Handheld singles – The only ice cream segment in growth
                  • Ambient desserts struggle
                    • Ageing population continues to present a challenge
                      • Improving incomes should provide a boost to premiumisation
                        • Companies and brands
                          • Unilever retains stronghold in ice cream
                            • Figure 3: Leading manufacturers’ shares in the UK ice cream retail market, by value, 2015/16*
                          • Gü’s rapid growth points to premium demand
                            • Brands struggle as ambient dessert sales fall
                              • Own-label strengthens its position in frozen desserts
                                • Dairy ice cream grows share of launches, healthy variants remain rare
                                  • Unilever caps calories, Ambrosia goes frozen
                                    • Total adspend continues to climb in 2015
                                      • The consumer
                                        • Half of adults eat ice cream weekly during the warmer months
                                          • Figure 4: Frequency of eating ice cream, by season, March 2016
                                        • Large ice cream tubs are most popular format
                                          • Desserts are a rare treat for most
                                            • Figure 5: Frequency of eating desserts, by type, March 2016
                                          • The young and families are the core dessert demographics
                                            • A favourite flavour is the key choice factor for ice cream and desserts
                                              • Figure 6: Choice factors for ice cream and desserts, March 2016
                                            • Coated bite-sized ice cream attracts interest
                                              • Figure 7: Interest in ice cream and dessert products, March 2016
                                            • Healthier ice cream would be welcomed by consumers
                                              • Figure 8: Attitudes towards ice cream and desserts, March 2016
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • High interest in healthier and smaller ice cream formats
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Opportunities are ripe for low-sugar desserts
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Heatable sauces could add value to ice cream
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Ice cream volumes continue to fall in 2015
                                                                  • Further decline on the cards to 2021
                                                                    • Another challenging year for desserts
                                                                      • Little signs of pressure on desserts easing
                                                                        • Handheld singles – The only ice cream segment in growth
                                                                          • Ambient desserts struggle
                                                                            • The sugar debate continues
                                                                              • Ageing population continues to present a challenge
                                                                                • Improving incomes should provide a boost to premiumisation
                                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                  • Ice cream volumes continue to fall in 2015
                                                                                    • Figure 9: UK retail sales of ice cream, by value and volume, 2011-21
                                                                                  • Further decline on the cards to 2021
                                                                                    • Figure 10: UK retail sales of ice cream, by value, 2011-21
                                                                                    • Figure 11: UK retail sales of ice cream, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                                  • Another challenging year for desserts in 2015
                                                                                    • Figure 12: UK retail sales of desserts, by value and volume, 2011-21
                                                                                  • No sign of pressure on desserts easing
                                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail sales of desserts, by value, 2011-21
                                                                                    • Figure 14: UK retail sales of desserts, by volume, 2011-21
                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                                                    • Handheld singles – The only ice cream segment in growth
                                                                                      • Figure 15: UK retail sales of ice cream, by type, by value and volume, 2013-16
                                                                                    • Ambient desserts struggle
                                                                                      • Figure 16: UK retail sales of desserts, by type, by value and volume, 2011-16
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • The sugar debate continues
                                                                                      • Poor summer weather dampens ice cream sales
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Hours of UK sunshine, 2012-15
                                                                                      • Ageing population continues to present a challenge
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                                      • Improving incomes should provide a boost to premiumisation
                                                                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                        • Unilever retains stronghold in ice cream
                                                                                          • Gü’s rapid growth points to premium demand
                                                                                            • Brands struggle as ambient dessert sales fall
                                                                                              • Own-label strengthens its position in frozen desserts
                                                                                                • Dairy ice cream grows share of launches, healthy variants remain rare
                                                                                                  • Unilever caps calories, Ambrosia goes frozen
                                                                                                    • Total adspend continues to climb in 2015
                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                      • Unilever retains stronghold of the ice cream market
                                                                                                        • Häagen-Dazs sees double-digit declines
                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ice cream retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                        • Nestlé & R&R agree joint venture in 2016
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK ice cream retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                        • Gü’s rapid growth points to premiumsation
                                                                                                          • Volume sales of Müller Rice stabilise
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                          • Brands struggle as ambient dessert sales fall
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                          • Own-label strengthens its position in frozen desserts
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                          • Dairy ice cream grows share of total launches
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: NPD in the UK ice cream and desserts market, by segment, 2012-16
                                                                                                          • Retailers take back lead in NPD
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: NPD in the UK ice cream and desserts market, by top 10 companies (sorted by 2015), 2012-16
                                                                                                          • Unilever looks to calorie caps and snack formats
                                                                                                            • Unilever caps single-serve ice creams at 250 calories
                                                                                                              • Ben & Jerry’s brings back the ’Wich line
                                                                                                                • Magnum relaunches Double range
                                                                                                                  • General Mills takes Häagen-Dazs into the hand-held market
                                                                                                                    • Ambrosia brings frozen custard to the UK
                                                                                                                      • Kelly’s of Cornwall relaunched with ice cream parlour design
                                                                                                                        • Clear packaging gains ground in ice cream
                                                                                                                          • Low/no/reduced fat and sugar claims remain rare
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Share of new product launches in the UK ice cream and desserts market, by selected health claims, 2012-16
                                                                                                                          • Chilled desserts attract branded activity
                                                                                                                            • Bonne Maman extends in chilled
                                                                                                                              • Hain Daniels launches Naughty but Rice
                                                                                                                                • Mary Berry launches chilled desserts
                                                                                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                  • Total adspend continues to climb in 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ice cream and desserts, by segment, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                  • Müller leads spend as it supports new launches
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ice cream and desserts, by top 5 advertisers (sorted by 2015), 2012-16
                                                                                                                                  • Unilever supports its brand portfolio
                                                                                                                                    • Magnum Pink and Black offers playfulness and sophistication
                                                                                                                                      • Magnum dares consumers to go double
                                                                                                                                        • Ben & Jerry’s new Core lines feature in TV advertising
                                                                                                                                          • ‘Save Our Swirled’ promotes climate campaign
                                                                                                                                            • Ben & Jerry’s urges Londoners to vote with name change
                                                                                                                                              • ‘Wich range enjoys strong support
                                                                                                                                                • Cornetto continues to focus on romance
                                                                                                                                                  • General Mills ramps up spend on Häagen-Dazs
                                                                                                                                                    • Bonne Maman makes TV debut
                                                                                                                                                      • Ambrosia launches ‘Taste of Happy’ campaign in 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Kelly’s showcases heritage through Cornish speaking ad
                                                                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                            • Half of adults eat ice cream weekly during the warmer months
                                                                                                                                                              • Large ice cream tubs are most popular format
                                                                                                                                                                • Desserts are a rare treat for most
                                                                                                                                                                  • The young and families are the core dessert demographics
                                                                                                                                                                    • A favourite flavour is the key choice factor for ice cream and desserts
                                                                                                                                                                      • Health-related claims are a low priority
                                                                                                                                                                        • Coated bite-sized ice cream attracts interest
                                                                                                                                                                          • Hot-serve sauces could heat up the ice cream market
                                                                                                                                                                            • Fruit desserts hold wide appeal
                                                                                                                                                                              • Healthier ice cream would be welcomed by consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Sizeable demand for low-sugar desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                • Usage of Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Half of adults eat ice cream weekly during the warmer months
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Around one in five eats ice cream weekly during the colder months
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Frequency of eating ice cream, by season, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Young men are core ice cream eaters
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Large ice cream tubs are most popular format
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Types of ice cream eaten in the past three months, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Under-35s and families are the main eaters of all formats
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Usage of Desserts

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nine in 10 people eat desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Desserts are a rare treat for most
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Frequency of eating desserts, by type, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Young bias towards eating desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Any usage of desserts in the last three months, by type, by age group, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Families are the core demographic
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Usage of desserts once a week or more, by type, by the age of children in household, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Choice Factors for Ice Cream and Desserts

                                                                                                                                                                                          • A favourite flavour is the key choice factor for ice cream and desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Choice factors for ice cream and desserts, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Special offers and promotions are important tools to sway consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Health-related claims are a low priority
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in Ice Cream and Dessert Products

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Coated bite-sized ice cream attracts interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Interest in ice cream and dessert products, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hot-serve sauces could heat up the ice cream market
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Notable interest in desserts made with yogurt
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fruit desserts hold appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Ice Cream and Desserts

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Healthier ice cream would be welcomed by consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reformulation poses a risk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Attitudes towards ice cream and desserts, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sizeable demand for low-sugar desserts
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Reducing the size of single-serve ice cream receives mixed support
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Total UK retail value sale of ice cream and desserts, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Total UK retail value sales of ice cream and desserts, best- and worst-case forecast, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: UK retail value sales of ice cream, best- and worst-case forecast, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: UK retail volume sales of ice cream, best- and worst-case forecast, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: UK retail value sales of desserts, best- and worst-case forecast, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: UK retail volume sales of desserts, best- and worst-case forecast, 2016-21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ice Cream and desserts - UK - June 2016

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