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Ice Cream and Dessert Shops - China - April 2018

“China’s ice cream and dessert shop market has enjoyed robust growth in the last five years, helped by the growth of new and more specialised brands; however, there’s still room for more niche products, such as frozen yogurt. As consumers are craving unique and fun experiences, exploring interactive experiences, such as DIY experiences, can help brands to engage with consumers.”
– Summer Chen, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following issues:

  • DIY experiences can help brands to engage with consumers
  • Inspiration from other food and drink categories offer a route to drive standout
  • Opportunity for niche desserts/ice creams in the category

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • Figure 1: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case forecast for sales value of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
          • Competition and innovation
            • Some big brands’ glory days are over
              • Competitive strategies
                • Noteworthy Innovations
                  • The consumer
                    • High earners and tier one residents are core users of ice cream and dessert shops
                      • Figure 3: Visiting frequency, November 2017
                    • Indulgence-related rather than functional reasons are key drivers to visit
                      • Figure 4: Visiting occasions, November 2017
                    • Not as good as coffee houses as a third space
                      • Figure 5: Choice factors, comparison with coffee houses, November 2017 and August 2016
                    • Unique flavours/texture and better ingredients drive premiumisation
                      • Figure 6: Premium factors, November 2017
                    • Opportunity in frozen yogurt
                      • Figure 7: Interest in and penetration of offerings from ice cream shops, November 2017
                    • Popular flavours in other categories wanted in ice cream as well
                      • Figure 8: Interest in innovative ice cream flavours, by consumer groups, November 2017
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • DIY experiences can help brands to engage with consumers
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Figure 9: Process of making Mermaid coffee, DNA café, Shanghai, 2017
                          • Inspiration from other food and drink categories offer a route to drive standout
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Opportunity for niche desserts/ice creams in the category
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Figure 10: Jellied desserts, Japan
                                      • Figure 11: ‘Tears’ and ‘Ambiguity’ ice cream, Initial, Shanghai, 2017
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • A double-digit growth in the last five years
                                      • Craving for indulgence and afternoon tea experience driving market growth
                                        • Ice cream shops are a smaller but faster growing category than dessert shops
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • A double-digit growth in the last five years
                                            • Figure 12: Sales value of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-17
                                          • Ice cream and dessert shops outperform the coffee house market
                                            • Figure 13: Year-on-year value growth of ice cream and dessert shop market and coffee house market, China, 2013-17
                                          • Continued robust growth forecast in the next five years
                                            • Figure 14: Best- and worst-case forecast for sales value of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • Indulgence as a ‘healing’ aid
                                            • Figure 15: Posts of ice creams and desserts as a ‘healing aid’, Red, 2018
                                          • Afternoon tea as part of a lifestyle
                                            • An increasing craze for internet famous stores
                                              • Figure 16: People lining up for WIFY (left, 2017) and Lady M (right, 2018), Shanghai
                                            • Simple and focused menus are on the rise
                                            • Market Segmentation

                                              • Ice cream shops: a smaller but faster growing market
                                                • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecast for sales value of ice cream shop market, China, 2012-22
                                              • Dessert shops: new dessert categories driving growth
                                                • Figure 18: Best- and worst-case forecast for sales value of dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • Some big brands’ glory days are over
                                                • Exploring new occasions
                                                  • Innovating with flavours, presentation and ingredients
                                                    • Noteworthy innovations
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • Although still in the lead, some big brands are losing significance
                                                        • Figure 19: Leading brands in ice cream and dessert shop market, by number of stores, China, 2017
                                                      • Newcomers from adjacent categories command attention
                                                        • Smaller chains and independent shops growing their presence
                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                          • More diversified channels to market
                                                            • Creative flavours, presentation and names aim to drive purchase
                                                              • Flavour
                                                                • Presentation
                                                                  • Figure 20: Examples of creative presentations of ice cream and dessert shop offerings, China, 2017
                                                                • Name
                                                                  • Figure 21: ‘Tears’ and ‘Ambiguity’ ice cream, Initial, Shanghai, 2017
                                                                • Ingredients and craftsmanship as premium justification
                                                                  • Ice cream shops: battling with seasonality
                                                                    • Figure 22: Posters of ice cream suited for the winter season, Zhongjie 1946, 2018
                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                  • Texture innovation in China
                                                                    • Figure 23: Examples of texture innovation in ice cream shop offerings, China, 2017
                                                                    • Figure 24: Examples of texture innovation in dessert shop offerings, China, 2017
                                                                  • Global innovations
                                                                    • Ice cream that does not melt, Japan
                                                                      • Dessert that tells a story, Japan
                                                                        • Figure 25: Dessert that tells a story, Japan, 2017
                                                                      • Augmented dessert, Switzerland
                                                                        • Figure 26: Augmented dessert, Switzerland, 2017
                                                                      • Pop-up museum of ice cream, US
                                                                        • Figure 27: Pop-up museum of ice cream, USA, 2016 & 2017
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • High earners and tier one residents are core users of ice cream and dessert shops
                                                                        • Emotional more than functional consumptions
                                                                          • New tastes and better ingredients drive premiumisation
                                                                            • Opportunity in frozen yogurt
                                                                            • Visiting Frequency

                                                                              • Ice cream shops less popular than dessert shops, while Chinese and Western dessert shops go toe to toe
                                                                                • Figure 28: Frequency of visiting ice cream and dessert shops, November 2017
                                                                              • High earners and tier one residents
                                                                                • Room to grow in lower tier cities
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Frequency of visiting ice cream and dessert shops, by city tier, November 2017
                                                                              • Visiting Occasions

                                                                                • Indulgence-related rather than functional reasons are key drivers to visit
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Occasions for visiting ice cream and dessert shops, November 2017
                                                                                • Ice cream shops more associated with high quality
                                                                                • Choice Factors

                                                                                  • Experiences drive choice of venue
                                                                                    • Taste enjoys a strong lead
                                                                                      • Limited interest in delivery
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Choice factors, November 2017
                                                                                      • Comparison with coffee houses
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Choice factors, comparison of ice cream and dessert shops with coffee houses, November 2017 and August 2016
                                                                                      • Young consumers even more experience-driven
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Selected choice factors, by age, November 2017
                                                                                    • Premium Factors

                                                                                      • New tastes and better ingredients drive premiumisation
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Premium factors, November 2017
                                                                                      • Young consumers drawn more to new sensorial experiences
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Selected premium factors, by age, November 2017
                                                                                      • High earners drawn more to ingredients and customisation
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Selected premium factors, by income level, November 2017
                                                                                    • Interest in offerings from ice cream shops

                                                                                      • Opportunity in frozen yogurt
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Interest in and usage of product types from ice cream shops, November 2017
                                                                                      • Drinks can be an important addition to the ice cream shop menu
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Interest in offerings from ice cream shops, November 2017
                                                                                      • Young women show most interest in all kinds of ice cream, especially ice cream cakes
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Interest in selected offerings from ice cream shops, by young women, November 2017
                                                                                    • Interest in innovative ice cream flavours

                                                                                      • Rising popular flavours in other categories wanted in ice cream as well
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Interest in innovative ice cream flavours, November 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Sea salt flavoured ice cream and yogurt examples, China
                                                                                      • Uncommon flavours spark niche interest, even among those seeking unique flavours
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Interest in innovative ice cream flavours, by interest in unique flavours/textures, November 2017
                                                                                      • Guangzhou stands out for interest in new flavours
                                                                                      • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                        • Prefer a wide variety of choices
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Selected choice factors, by consumer classification, November 2017
                                                                                        • Value ingredients, customisation and brand
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Selected premium factors, which would encourage consumers to pay more for on-trade ice cream or desserts, by consumer classification, November 2017
                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                          • Figure 45: Best- and worst-case forecast for number of stores of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Value sales of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Number of stores of ice cream and dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                          • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast for number of stores in ice cream shop market, China, 2012-22
                                                                                          • Figure 49: Best- and worst-case forecast for number of stores in dessert shop market, China, 2012-22
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Sales value of ice cream and dessert shop market, by market segment, China, 2012-22
                                                                                          • Figure 51: Number of stores of ice cream and dessert shop market, by market segments, China, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                            Ice Cream and Dessert Shops - China - April 2018

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