Description

“Regardless of the innovation in ice cream, the category’s success rests on a timeless and fundamental principle, which is to provide enjoyment. During the COVID-19 outbreak, this central tenet may be more important than ever and will remain so in the near term.”

– Joel Gregoire, Associate Director for Food & Drink

This report covers the following issues:

  • COVID-19’s impact on ice cream and frozen treat sales at grocery is likely to experience a ‘bump’ at retail as Canadians spend more time at home and visit foodservice less.
  • Better-for-you options remain popular, but quality and indulgence remain core to the category’s appeal.
  • Half of consumers are open to eating dairy-free ice cream, indicating that it’s becoming more mainstream.
  • When choosing ice cream, the core tenets of “familiar brands “ and the “source of ingredients” rank as the most important considerations.
  • Most Canadians look for “sales/promotions” when shopping for ice cream and/or frozen treats. Look for this behaviour to become more prominent as Canada heads into a recession and what is likely to be a long recovery period, meaning price sensitivity is unlikely to wane.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • Consumer research
            • Market sizing
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on ice cream and frozen treats
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on ice cream, June 2020
                • Key trends
                  • Younger consumers are more open to experimentation
                    • Figure 2: Interest in ice cream or frozen treats with unique texture and contrasting flavours, by age, March 2020
                  • Despite value’s importance, there is clear demand for premium offerings
                    • Figure 3: Qualities of interest in ice cream or frozen treats, March 2020
                  • The emotional benefits of ice cream take on greater importance
                    • Figure 4: Ice cream’s role in dealing with stress (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                  • More than half of Canadians are open to ice cream made with dairy alternatives
                    • Figure 5: “I’m open to trying ice cream made with dairy alternatives” and “Ice cream/frozen treats with sustainability claims are more appealing to me” (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                  • Consumers’ backgrounds can influence their preferences
                    • Figure 6: What matters when choosing ice cream or frozen treats, Chinese and non-Chinese Asians vs overall, March 2020
                  • What it means
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on Ice Cream and Frozen Treats

                    • Summary
                      • Figure 7: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on ice cream and frozen treats, June 2020
                    • Opportunities and Threats
                      • Ice cream and frozen treats can be a welcome distraction in an abnormal summer
                        • As grocers benefit, foodservice stands to experience challenges
                          • COVID-19 may lead to more interest in dairy-free ice cream
                            • Ice cream sales in 2020 are likely to experience a short-term bump
                              • Figure 8: Total Canadian value sales and fan chart forecast of ice cream retail market, at current prices, 2014-25
                            • How the COVID-19 crisis will affect ice cream’s/frozen treats’ key consumer segments
                              • ‘Staycationers’ will look to being some normalcy to their summer
                                • Ice cream helps adults break away from daily pressures
                                  • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the ice cream and frozen treat industry
                                    • COVID-19: Canadian context
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Ice cream sales at retail will likely experience a bump in 2020
                                        • Canada enters a recession as food inflation increases
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Ice cream sales at retail will likely experience a bump in 2020
                                            • Figure 9: Total Canadian value sales and fan chart forecast of ice cream retail market, at current prices, 2014-25
                                            • Figure 10: Total Canadian value sales and forecast of ice cream retail market, at current prices, 2014-25
                                            • Figure 11: Total Canadian volume sales and fan chart forecast of ice cream retail market, 2014-25
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • Canada enters a recession as food inflation increases
                                            • Stagnating birth rate has implications for ice cream and frozen treats
                                              • Figure 12: Historical and projected birth rate per 1,000 persons in Canada, 1950-2045
                                              • Figure 13: Frozen treats typically eaten, by parental status, March 2020
                                            • Weight management to remain important given Canada’s aging population
                                              • Figure 14: Percent of Canadian adults (18+) who are overweight or obese, 2015 and 2018
                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                            • Looking abroad can inspire ice cream flavours innovation
                                              • Innovation around ice cream/frozen treats with better-for-you claims continues
                                                • Unique flavours will continue to emerge
                                                • What’s Working

                                                  • Looking abroad can inspire ice cream flavours innovation
                                                    • Figure 15: Neale’s Sweet ‘n Nice Ice Cream Instagram post, November 2019
                                                • What to Watch

                                                  • Innovation around ice cream/frozen treats with better-for-you claims continues
                                                    • Figure 16: Halo Top Birthday Cake Frozen Dessert Bars (Canada), October 2019
                                                    • Figure 17: Goodnorth Creamy Ice Milk (Canada), September 2018
                                                    • Figure 18: Killer Creamery No Judge Mint Keto Frozen Dessert (US), October 2019
                                                    • Figure 19: Peekaboo Organic Strawberry Ice Cream with Hidden Carrots (US), September 2019
                                                    • Figure 20: Chillycow Mocha Espresso Swirl Light Ice Cream (US), November 2019
                                                    • Figure 21: PC Lemon Flavoured Skyr Bars (Canada), June 2018
                                                  • Mainstreaming of dairy-free leads to more plant-based launches
                                                    • Figure 22: Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Bars (Canada), June 2019
                                                    • Figure 23: Oatly! Original Strawberry Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (US), November 2019
                                                    • Figure 24: So Delicious Dairy-Free Oatmilk Peanut Butter and Raspberry Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (US), October 2019
                                                    • Figure 25: Fiasco Dairy-Free Mango Pineapple Sorbet (Canada), February 2019
                                                  • Unique flavours will continue to emerge
                                                    • Figure 26: Eat Me Ice Cream Curry Cashew and Crystallized Ginger Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert (US), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 27: Eat Me Ice Cream Lavender Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert (US), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 28: Van Leeuwen Pumpkin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust French Ice Cream (US), December 2019
                                                    • Figure 29: Museum of Ice Cream Malt Shake Ice Cream (US), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 30: Nestlé Dryer’s DC The Joker Mint Cookie Madness Light Ice Cream (US), September 2019
                                                  • There’s room for ‘sophisticated’ ice cream
                                                    • Figure 31: Häagen-Dazs Spirits Rum Tres Leches Ice Cream (US), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 32: Häagen-Dazs Spirits Amaretto, Black Cherry, Almond and Toffee Frozen Dessert (US), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 33: Dessert Italiano Italian Mocha Layered Dessert (Canada), September 2019
                                                    • Figure 34: Fontaine Sante Piña Colada Ice Coco Cream (Canada), August 2019
                                                    • Figure 35: JonnyPops Cold Press Coffee Chocolate & Cream Ice Bars (US), July 2019
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Four in five Canadians eat ice cream
                                                    • Promotions resonate with consumers when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats
                                                      • Brands matter when choosing ice cream
                                                        • High degree of interest in premium ingredients and internationally inspired flavours
                                                          • Leveraging the emotional benefits of ice cream is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic
                                                          • Ice Cream and Frozen Treat Consumption

                                                            • Four in five Canadians eat ice cream
                                                              • Figure 36: Ice cream and/or frozen treats typically eaten, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 37: Ice cream and/or frozen treats typically eaten, by age, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 38: Ice cream and/or frozen treats typically eaten, by parental status, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 39: Ice cream and/or frozen treats typically eaten, Chinese and non-Chinese Asians vs overall, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 40: Ice cream and/or frozen treats typically eaten, by region, March 2020
                                                            • Despite the range of formats available, bowls remain the most popular format in which to eat ice cream
                                                              • Figure 41: Formats in which ice cream is normally eaten, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 42: Formats in which ice cream is normally eaten, by age, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 43: Formats in which ice cream is normally eaten, by parental status, March 2020
                                                          • Shopping Influences

                                                            • Promotions resonate with consumers when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats
                                                              • Figure 44: What matters when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats, March 2020
                                                            • A third of consumers buy ice cream/frozen treat on impulse
                                                              • Figure 45: Buying on impulse when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats, 18-44s vs over-45s, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 46: Importance of buying favourite brand versus looking for new products when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats, by age, March 2020
                                                            • Few consumers account for nutritional information when shopping for ice cream
                                                              • Figure 47: Nutritional information as mattering when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats, by age, March 2020
                                                            • Moms most likely to look to ice cream to celebrate special occasions
                                                              • Figure 48: Importance of special occasions and stocking up when shopping for ice cream/frozen treats, mothers vs fathers, March 2020
                                                          • What Matters when Choosing Ice Cream or Frozen Treats (Aside from Price and Taste)

                                                            • Brands matter when choosing ice cream
                                                              • Figure 49: What matters when choosing ice cream or frozen treats, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 50: What matters when choosing ice cream or frozen treats, 18-44s vs over-45s, March 2020
                                                              • Figure 51: What matters when choosing ice cream or frozen treats, by parental status, March 2020
                                                            • Consumers’ heritage influences their motivations
                                                              • Figure 52: What matters when choosing ice cream or frozen treats, Chinese and non-Chinese Canadians vs overall, March 2020
                                                          • Areas of Interest

                                                            • High degree of interest in premium ingredients and internationally inspired flavours
                                                              • Figure 53: Qualities of interest in ice cream or frozen treats, March 2020
                                                            • Younger adults are more open to experimenting with texture and flavour…
                                                              • Figure 54: Qualities of interest in ice cream or frozen treats, by age, March 2020
                                                            • …and wellness
                                                              • Gender impacts what Canadians show interest in
                                                                • Figure 55: Qualities of interest in ice cream or frozen treats, by gender, March 2020
                                                                • Figure 56: Qualities of interest in ice cream or frozen treats, by parental status, March 2020
                                                              • CBD in ice cream holds greater appeal with younger men
                                                                • Figure 57: Interest in CBD in ice cream or frozen treats, by age and gender, March 2020
                                                            • Attitudes towards Ice Cream and Frozen Treats

                                                              • Quality and familiarity are top of mind for ice cream/frozen treat consumers
                                                                • Figure 58: Attitudes towards ice cream and frozen treats, March 2020
                                                              • Leveraging the emotional benefits of ice cream is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic
                                                                • Figure 59: Ice cream’s role in dealing with stress (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                              • Many Canadians don’t need their ice cream to be healthy, but they are also open to options with functional benefits
                                                                • Figure 60: “Ice cream is meant to be an unhealthy treat” and “I’m interested in ice cream and/or frozen treats with functional benefits” (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                              • Half of Canadians are interested in dairy-free ice cream
                                                                • Figure 61: “I’m open to trying ice cream made with dairy alternatives” and “Ice cream/frozen treats with sustainability claims are more appealing to me” (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                              • Data sources
                                                                • Sales Data
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations

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