Ice Cream - Global Annual Review - 2017
Mintel’s Annual Overviews take a look back at 2016 and provide a detailed overview of the key issues faced by key categories through the year. Including; a full market overview, an in-depth review of the big stories from the year as well as our forecast for the future of these markets.
- Growth remains solid if not spectacular in the key global ice cream markets
- While established markets like the US and UK are struggling for growth, India and China are posting notable increases
- Nestlé and R&R Ice Cream have completed their joint venture to create Froneri, presenting new competition for Unilever
Growth across the major global retail ice cream markets remains steady. Those countries which enjoyed the strongest growth between 2015 and 2016 were generally found in thriving economies in Asia and South America, and have a small share of the overall market. There are some eye-catching performances, though. The rapidity with which India’s ice cream market is expanding is worth noting, and in 2017 volumes are set to overtake those of more established markets including the UK, according to Mintel data. The low per capita consumption of retail ice cream in India, demonstrates the exciting potential in what is the world’s second most populated country, although competition from street vendors should not be underestimated.
The situation remains similarly positive in China - the fastest annual rise since 2013. This contrasts with the second biggest ice cream market, the US, where volume sales have been flat for a second consecutive year. The concerns felt by consumers in the US about sugar in their diets have dampened usage of ice cream, but gelato and other overtly indulgent brands are faring well. This illustrates how consumers in the US, and other developed markets like the UK and Australia, are happy to occasionally overlook healthy principles if the quality of the ice cream is suitably indulgent. And in Germany, growth was fuelled by hot summer weather and also non-dairy innovation.
As far as company activity is concerned, the joint venture between Nestlé and R&R Ice Cream was completed in October 2016 to create Froneri. Headquartered in the UK, Froneri will operate in 22 countries around the world, and aim to compete with global ice cream leader Unilever in the race to establish presence in emerging regions, and foster renewed growth in established markets. The potentially lucrative markets of Asia will surely be enticing to Unilever and Froneri, although competition from domestic brands is strong, and innovation is often tailored to local tastes.
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