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UK Ice Cream market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Ice Cream market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Covered in this report

This report covers take-home and impulse retail sales of ice cream.

Take-home ice cream is defined as any product that comprises primarily ice cream and is intended for consumption in the home, including dairy ice cream and non-dairy ice cream of all flavours retailed in multiple serving packs (500ml or over) and multipacks of single-serve items. It also includes ice cream-based desserts like Viennetta.

Impulse ice cream is defined as single-serve ice cream purchased for immediate consumption, including wrapped handheld ice cream products, including ice cream cones, stick and bar products, tubs, and cups. Water ices and ice lollies are not strictly speaking ‘ice cream’ but are generally regarded as such and thus are another part of the handheld sector.

This report excludes sales through foodservice establishments.

What you need to know

The ice cream category has grown sales through improving its all-year-round appeal, both through indulgent NPD (New Product Development) and meal deals. However, the boost provided by the 2018 scorching summer shows that the fortunes of the category remain heavily impacted by the weather. Value growth has been lifted by the rising inflation since 2016 and consumers opting for premium products. The market is thus estimated at £1.4 billion in 2018, up 26% from 2013.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Anita Winther, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The scorching 2018 summer has been a boon to the ice cream market, fuelling sales growth at a time when cost pressures are putting a squeeze on operators. Lower-calorie ice cream brands have caused a stir in 2018, building up a not insignificant market penetration. While the lower-calorie proposition has potential to bolster category volume sales and help it withstand the ongoing war on sugar, these products’ relatively high price and poor image as indulgent remain barriers to uptake.Anita Winther
Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • 2018 heatwave sees ice cream sales rocket
              • Inflation expected to drive value growth
                • Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail value sales of ice cream, 2013-23
              • Sunny summer sees handheld ice cream sales rocket
                • Tubs and blocks continue on upward trajectory
                  • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of ice cream, by segment, 2016-18
                • Spotlight remains on sugar
                  • Cost increases drive inflation in category
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Ben & Jerry’s leads sales in tubs segment
                        • Figure 3: Leading brands’ value shares in the UK retail ice cream tubs and blocks market, 2017/18*
                      • Magnum sees robust growth, but shares slip
                        • Figure 4: Leading brands’ value shares in the UK retail handheld singles and multipack ice cream market, 2017/18*
                      • Lower-sugar and -calorie ice cream launches rise
                        • Dairy alternatives remain a focus in NPD
                          • Unilever’s lead in ice cream adspend increases in 2017
                            • Magnum excels on trust and quality, Häagen-Dazs lead as indulgent and special
                              • Figure 5: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, October 2018
                            • The consumer
                              • ‘Everyone’ eats ice cream
                                • Figure 6: Frequency of eating ice cream, August 2018
                              • Dairy ice cream is most common type eaten
                                • Figure 7: Types of ice cream eaten, August 2018
                              • Treating oneself is the key ice cream driver
                                • Figure 8: Reason for eating ice cream, August 2018
                              • Flavour is king in ice cream choice
                                • Figure 9: Important factors influencing the choice of ice cream, August 2018
                              • Health is of little concern when it comes to ice cream
                                • Figure 10: Behaviours relating to ice cream, August 2018
                              • Demand for more single-portion ice cream cups
                                • Figure 11: Attitudes towards ice cream, August 2018
                              • Lack of awareness limits usage of gelato
                                • Figure 12: Correspondence analysis of qualities associated with selected types of ice cream, August 2018
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                • Lower-calorie ice creams must tackle negative preconceptions to grow mass-market appeal
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Interest in alcoholic ice cream highlights scope for cross-category brand collaborations
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • 2018 heatwave sees ice cream sales rocket
                                              • Inflation expected to drive value growth
                                                • Sunny summer sees handheld ice cream sales rocket
                                                  • Tubs and blocks continue on upward trajectory
                                                    • Spotlight remains on sugar
                                                      • Cost increases drive inflation in category
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Scorching summer weather boosts sales in 2018
                                                          • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of ice cream, 2013-23
                                                        • The future
                                                          • Figure 14: Forecast of UK retail value sales of ice cream, 2013-23
                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                        • Market Segmentation

                                                          • Sunny summer sees handheld ice cream sales rocket
                                                            • Tubs and blocks continue on upward trajectory
                                                              • Figure 15: UK retail value and volume sales of ice cream, by segment, 2016-18
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Sugar remains in the public spotlight
                                                              • Ice cream is among categories tasked with sugar reduction…
                                                                • …with progress reported in year one
                                                                  • Category makes concerted efforts to reduce sugar
                                                                    • 2018 summer heatwave boosts sales
                                                                      • Ice cream looks to tap into evenings in
                                                                        • Figure 16: Total hours of sunshine in the UK, by season, 2013-18
                                                                      • Cost increases hit category
                                                                        • Weak Pound drives up import costs
                                                                          • Vanilla prices soar
                                                                            • Consumer spend likely to remain cautious
                                                                              • Ageing population brings no benefit to ice cream
                                                                                • Growth in kids’ population should benefit category
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Ben & Jerry’s leads sales in tubs segment
                                                                                  • Magnum sees robust growth, but shares slip
                                                                                    • Lower-sugar and -calorie ice cream launches rise
                                                                                      • Dairy alternatives remain a focus in NPD
                                                                                        • Unilever’s lead in ice cream adspend increases in 2017
                                                                                          • Magnum excels on trust and quality, Häagen-Dazs lead as indulgent and special
                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                            • Unilever remains dominant in ice cream market, but own-label closes in
                                                                                              • Ben & Jerry’s is biggest brand in tubs
                                                                                                • Häagen-Dazs’ sales dip
                                                                                                  • Halo Top on-track to post strong first-year sales
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK retail ice cream tubs and blocks market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                  • Sunny summer bolsters sales for leading handheld brands
                                                                                                    • Magnum remains leading brand in handheld
                                                                                                      • Nestlé grows segment share
                                                                                                        • Häagen-Dazs doubles sales
                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK retail handheld singles and multipack ice cream market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                      • Start-up Company Profiles

                                                                                                        • Northern Bloc
                                                                                                          • Company mission
                                                                                                            • Product
                                                                                                              • Social media information
                                                                                                                • Mintel consumer trends
                                                                                                                  • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                    • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                      • Mintel’s verdict
                                                                                                                        • Wheyhey
                                                                                                                          • Company mission
                                                                                                                            • Product
                                                                                                                              • Social media information
                                                                                                                                • Mintel consumer trends
                                                                                                                                  • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                    • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                      • Mintel’s verdict
                                                                                                                                        • POPS
                                                                                                                                          • Company mission
                                                                                                                                            • Product
                                                                                                                                              • Social media information
                                                                                                                                                • Mintel consumer trends
                                                                                                                                                  • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                                                    • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                                                      • Mintel’s verdict
                                                                                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                        • Water-based ice cream launches pick up in 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by type, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                        • Handheld formats see activity pick up in 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Lower-sugar and -calorie ice cream craze reaches UK
                                                                                                                                                            • Focus on natural, quality ingredients and indulgent flavours sets new launches apart
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by selected claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                            • Smaller brands are first to adopt premium lower-sugar positioning
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Examples of Oppo and Wheyhey lower-calorie ice cream launches in the UK, 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • US sensation Halo Top launch in the UK in 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Unilever picks up the gauntlet with Breyers Delight and Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Examples of Halo Top and Unilever’s lower-calorie ice cream launches in the UK, 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Smaller brands contribute to trend
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Examples of Koupe and Jude’s lower-calorie ice cream launches in the UK, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Premium and indulgent launches continue to drive NPD
                                                                                                                                                                • Froneri launches premium Cornetto rival Nestlé Extrême
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Examples of indulgent ice cream launches in the UK, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Flavour extensions look to deliver on indulgence
                                                                                                                                                                  • NPD continues in dairy alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Examples of plant-based ice cream launches from Booja-Booja, Northern Bloc, and Blue Skies in the UK, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Unilever extends popular brands with vegan variants
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Examples of plant-based ice cream launches from Alpo, Ben & Jerry’s, and Cornetto in the UK, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Ice cream makers explore on-trend ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                      • Avocado in Avo-lato at Selfridges
                                                                                                                                                                        • Frozen kefir from Yorvale
                                                                                                                                                                          • Greedy Goat makes retail debut
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Avocado and kefir ice cream products from Fravocado and Yorvale in the UK, on-shelf in 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                          • Above-the-line spend jumps in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ice cream, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                          • Unilever increases its lead in ice cream spend in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • General Mills supports Häagen-Dazs’ brand refresh
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on ice cream, by top five advertisers (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                            • Taste and indulgence remain key marketing themes
                                                                                                                                                                              • Nestlé Extrême looks to draw adults to cones with an invitation to indulge
                                                                                                                                                                                • Magnum continues to court ‘pleasure seekers’
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ben & Jerry’s highlights multitude of ways to love its ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Magnum links with Time Out for ‘Time In’ occasions push
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kelly’s continues to focus on Cornish origin; Carte D’Or plays on French roots
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brands spotlight health credentials alongside taste
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ice cream brands utilise pop-ups and experimental activations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Key metrics for selected brands, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand attitudes: Magnum excels on trust and quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand personality: Ben & Jerry’s stands out as fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Brand personality – Macro image, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Häagen-Dazs has a lead as indulgent and special
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Brand personality – Micro image, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Magnum’s lead is supported by strong perceptions of trust, quality, and indulgence
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: User profile of Magnum, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ben & Jerry’s fun and innovative image appeals to the young
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: User profile of Ben & Jerry’s, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Häagen-Dazs has a premium, indulgent image
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: User profile of Häagen-Dazs, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Carte D’Or enjoys high usage, but struggles with differentiation
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: User profile of Carte D’Or, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kelly’s authentic and traditional image gives it standout among older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: User profile of Kelly’s, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Halo Top leads on health, but preconceptions limit perceptions of indulgence and quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: User profile of Halo Top, October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ‘Everyone’ eats ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dairy ice cream is most common type eaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Treating oneself is the key ice cream driver
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Flavour is king in ice cream choice
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Health is of little concern when it comes to ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Demand for more single-portion ice cream cups
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lack of awareness limits usage of gelato
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Frequency of Eating Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ‘Everyone’ eats ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The young are most likely to eat ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Repertoire of types of ice cream eaten, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Three in five have eaten ice cream weekly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Most don’t feel they eat enough ice cream to worry about its healthiness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Young adults and parents are key users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Frequency of eating ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Types of Ice Cream Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dairy ice cream is most common type eaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Non-dairy ice cream has attracted buzz in recent years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Types of ice cream eaten, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Large tubs and handheld formats enjoy equal popularity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Ice cream formats eaten, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The young are main users of toppings and additions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Ice cream addition eaten, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Eating Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Treating oneself is the key ice cream driver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Treating oneself remains relevant for NPD…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …and in marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Reason for eating ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Many young people reach for ice cream for a mood boost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hot weather remains important for ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Choice Factors for Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Flavour is king in ice cream choice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • New flavours appeal more to frequent users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Important factors influencing the choice of ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • One in three are swayed by premium ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ingredient scrutiny is low
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes and Behaviours relating to Better-for-you Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Health is of little concern when it comes to ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes towards ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • One in five have eaten lower-calorie ice cream…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Behaviours relating to better-for-you ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …but negative perceptions prevail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lower-calorie ice cream faces an uphill struggle on two fronts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Price is key barrier for lower-calorie ice cream brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Perceptions of products from selected lower-calorie dairy ice cream brands in comparison to other dairy ice cream products in the UK market, April-October 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Behaviours relating to Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Demand for more single-portion ice cream cups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Examples of single-serve ice cream cups in the UK retail market, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Behaviours relating to ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Alcoholic ice cream garners widespread interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cross-category brand collaborations hold potential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Examples of alcoholic ice cream launches in the UK, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Qualities Associated with Types of Ice Cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dairy ice cream with additions leads on indulgence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Qualities associated with selected types of ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ice lollies need to work harder to push guilt-free angle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Lack of awareness limits usage of gelato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Correspondence analysis of qualities associated with selected types of ice cream, August 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Total UK retail value sales of ice cream, best- and worst-case forecast, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK retail ice cream tubs and blocks market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK retail handheld singles and multipack ice cream market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by format, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by top 10 companies, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by brands and private label, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Share of new product launches in the UK retail ice cream market, by top 10 claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Attribute performance of lower-calorie ice cream brands^ in comparison to dairy ice cream in the UK market, April-September 2018