Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Ice Cream and Frozen Novelties market, including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The US Ice Cream and Frozen Novelties market saw a huge boost in 2020, with many people forced to stay at home during the pandemic. With more in-home-eating opportunities and an increased habit of consumers treating themselves and comfort eating, dollar sales of ice cream increased by 16.3% in 2020.

Despite these huge surges however, as the pandemic subsides in 2021 and through 2022, the ice cream market is expected to see a decline as people return to out-of-home activities. The ice cream market is expected to hold it’s gains in 2021, declining only by 3.7%, but expecting a return to slower pre-pandemic growth by 2022.

In order to help retain these increased sales and consumer attention, brands will have to work to innovate as comfort eating declines. Health has become much more of a conscious concern since the pandemic, with people looking to cut back on unhealthy eating habits. Economic uncertainties thanks to unemployment and furloughing will also see more people cutting back on non-essential purchases. Ice cream brands will have to innovate to create more affordable and healthier product options, with 64% of buyers saying they enjoy both regular and better-for-you alternatives.

Read on to discover more about the US Ice Cream and Frozen Novelties consumer market, read our The Future Of Ice Cream Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Canned, Frozen and Fresh Food Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior as it relates to the ice cream and frozen novelties market.
  • Lessons from the past recession on ice cream and frozen novelty sales.
  • Change in purchasing frequency.
  • Reasons for change in purchasing frequency.
  • Interest and experience with various types of non-dairy ice cream.
  • The frozen yogurt target market.

Covered in this report

Products: Ice cream, frozen dairy desert (gelato), ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cones, popsicles, frozen yogurt, dairy alternatives (non-dairy, soy, other dairy alternatives), sherbet, sorbet, ices.

Brands: Unilever (Ben & Jerries, Talenti, Good Humor), Nestle SA, Wells Enerprises, Blue Bell Creameries, Dairy Farmers of America, Turkey Hill Dairy, Mars Incorporated, Yasso, Enlightened, Rebel, Jeni’s, Tillamook, Hudsonville, M&M, Simple Truth, Daiya, So Delicious, Halo Top, Brave Robot, Nick’s, Blue Bunny, private label.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Kaitlin Kamp, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

An increase in eating and treating at home boosted the ice cream and frozen novelty market in 2020, bringing in a 16.3%-dollar sales increase over 2019 totals. The category is expected to hold onto a large share of growth, due to ample innovation from category players, but brands will still face challenges – namely economic uncertainty and a post-pandemic return to wellness. Affordable packaged alternatives to foodservice offerings can appeal to the cost-conscious, while a focus on health-focused ingredients and functionality can grant permissibility.

Kaitlin Kamp - Food & Drink Analyst
Kaitlin Kamp

Food & Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 2: Total US sales and forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on ice cream and frozen novelties
      • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on ice cream and frozen novelties, March 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Re-emergence
      • Figure 4: Change in frozen treat purchase, February 2021
      • Figure 5: Innovation to motivate product trial, February 2021
    • Recovery
      • Figure 6: Reasons for purchasing frozen treats more often, February 2021
      • Figure 7: Interest and experience with ice cream ingredients, February 2021
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Category largely projected to hold on to 2020 gains
    • Novelties forecast to overtake ice cream, lead category sales by 2025
    • The frozen yogurt/non-dairy segment can retain growth from BFY positioning, flavor innovation
    • Consumers plan to prioritize health post-pandemic
    • Scoop shops to rebound in 2021
    • Communicate value to address lingering economic uncertainty
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Frozen treats projected to retain a large share of COVID-19 gains
      • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Learnings from the Great Recession
    • Innovation pulls frozen treat category from its 2010 slump
      • Figure 10: Total U.S. sales and forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at current prices, 2008-12
  5. Segment Performance

    • Frozen novelties on track to overtake majority market share by 2025
    • Ice cream remains the market leader, for now
    • Frozen yogurt/non-dairy has a second opportunity to hold onto increased sales
    • Sherbet/sorbet/ices will need to speak to indulgence to hold onto recent gains
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by segment, at current prices, year over year % total of market share, 2015-2025
      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales and forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
  6. Market Factors

    • Consumers moving away from sugar and processing
      • Figure 13: Desired change in diet, November 2020
    • Persisting unemployment and low consumer confidence warrants a focus on value
      • Figure 14: US unemployment, February 2019-January 2021
      • Figure 15: Consumer confidence index, February 2019-21
    • COVID-19 comfort eating is temporary
      • Figure 16: Impact of COVID-19 on food and drink habits, July 2020
      • Figure 17: Yasso Instagram post
    • Scoop shops poised to rebound from short-term hit
    • Non-dairy ice creams have a health halo to tap into
      • Figure 19: Reasons for using dairy alternatives, March 2020
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • “Other” brands chip away at Unilever’s 21% market share dominance
    • Private label brands expand non-dairy offerings
    • Non-dairy continues expanding; look to milk trends for future opportunities
    • Communicate value with dessert-inspired frozen treats
    • The functional white space lies in emotional benefits
    • Impending sugar crash calls for low/no options and natural sweeteners
  8. Market Share

    • Small brands make big gains
    • Small brands find their niche
      • Figure 20: Multi-outlet sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by leading companies, % market share, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 21: Multi-outlet sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Private label brands make a name for themselves in non-dairy and frozen yogurt
      • Figure 22: Multi-outlet sales of private label frozen treats, % change, by segment, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 23: Private label non-dairy frozen treats
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • Brands expand non-dairy innovation
      • Figure 24: Non-dairy frozen treat launches
    • Values megaphone pays off for Ben & Jerry’s
      • Figure 25: Ben and Jerry’s social media posts
      • Figure 26: Ben and Jerry’s top topics regarding Black Lives Matter on Twitter, Pinterest, reddit and Instagram February 1, 2020-January 31, 2021
      • Figure 27: Non-dairy top topics mentions on Twitter, Pinterest, reddit and Instagram February 1, 2020-January 31, 2021
    • Halo Top finds sweet spot in novelties, continues to freeze over in other segments
      • Figure 28: Multi-outlet sales of Halo Top frozen treats, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Ice cream gets smaller for snack time
      • Figure 29: Snack-sized and pouch frozen treats
    • Lab-made Perfect Day hits shelves
      • Figure 30: Ice cream made with perfect day
    • Viennetta re-emerges
      • Figure 31: Viennetta frozen dessert
  10. Market Opportunities

    • Transform ice cream into a fully loaded dessert for value, excitement
      • Figure 32: Dessert-inspired frozen treats
      • Figure 33: Menu matrix of ice cream flavors in foodservice, leading and lagging, Q3 2015-2020
    • Tap into emotional motivations
      • Figure 34: Enlightened fruit infusions
    • Ease sugar concerns with natural, recognizable sweeteners
      • Figure 35: Frozen treats with alternative or low/no sweeteners
      • Figure 36: Perceptions of select types of sugars and sweeteners, October 2020
    • Look to milk trends for next-wave innovation
      • Figure 37: Plant-based dairy-alternative drinks
    • Fair trade ingredients are the next ethical opportunity
      • Figure 38: Frozen treat companies that use fair trade ingredients
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Traditional ice cream reigns supreme, but consumers don’t mind a full freezer
    • Mini sizes could make big waves post pandemic
    • Indulgence drives increased purchasing while health encourages pullback
    • Online channels are a long-term opportunity
    • Soy struggles to retain users, oat and cashew milk are in
  12. Frozen Treat Segmentation

    • Boost consumption frequency with a combination of health, flavor and value
      • Figure 39: Frozen treat segmentation, consumption frequency, February 2021
  13. Frozen Treat Purchase

    • Buzzy innovation remains niche but promising
      • Figure 40: Frozen treat purchase, February 2021
    • Consumers 25-44 the most experimental shoppers
      • Figure 41: Frozen treat purchase, by age, February 2021
    • Children inspire wider repertoires
      • Figure 42: Frozen treat purchase, by parental status and household size, February 2021
    • Frozen treats could better communicate value
      • Figure 43: Frozen treat purchase, by food and drink segmentation, February 2021
  14. Frozen Treat Format Purchase

    • Mini sizes take a backseat to larger options
      • Figure 44: Frozen treat format purchase, February 2021
    • Smaller sizes could improve their adoption among small households
      • Figure 45: Frozen treat format purchase, by household size, February 2021
    • Financially struggling consumers find value in economical sizing
      • Figure 46: Frozen treat format purchase, by financial situation, February 2021
  15. Change in Frozen Treat Purchase

    • Most hold steady, but 40% are changing their frozen treat purchase habits
      • Figure 47: Change in frozen treat purchase, February 2021
    • Millennial men drive the momentum
      • Figure 48: Change in frozen treat purchase, by generation, by gender and age, February 2021
    • Financially struggling consumers pull back on purchases
      • Figure 49: Change in frozen treat purchase, by financial situation, February 2021
  16. Reasons for Purchasing Frozen Treats More Often

    • Comfort, indulgence drives increased purchase
      • Figure 50: Reasons for purchasing frozen treats more often, February 2021
  17. Reasons for Purchasing Frozen Treats Less Often

    • Health concerns drive reduced purchasing
      • Figure 51: Reasons for purchasing frozen treats Less often, February 2021
      • Figure 52: Jeni’s splendid ice cream Instagram posts
  18. Frozen Treat Purchase Location

    • Opportunity to expand online shopping
      • Figure 53: Frozen treat purchase location, February 2021
    • Young consumers’ interest in convenience can drive online, mobile purchasing
      • Figure 54: Frozen treat purchase location, by age, February 2021
  19. Interest and Experience with Ice Cream Ingredients

    • Oat and cashew milk are up next
    • Soy milk losing steam
    • Almond milk has gone mainstream
    • Oat and cashew milk are the cool new kids on the block
      • Figure 55: Interest and experience with ice cream ingredients, February 2021
      • Figure 56: Non-dairy ice cream top topics on Twitter and Pinterest, February 1, 2020-January 31, 2021
    • Millennials, parents are an established non-dairy audience
      • Figure 57: Interest and experience with ice cream ingredients, by generation and parental status, February 2021
    • Young women an opportunity non-dairy audience
      • Figure 58: Interest and experience with ice cream ingredients, by age and gender, February 2021
  20. Frozen Treat Attitudes

    • It’s all about balance
      • Figure 59: Frozen treat attitudes, February 2021
    • Help infrequent eaters manage health with portion control
      • Figure 60: Frozen treat attitudes – net – any agree, by frozen treat segmentation, February 2021
    • Gen Z and Millennials will support brands that take a stand
      • Figure 61: Frozen treat attitudes – cause, by generation, February 2021
  21. Non-Dairy Frozen Treat Attitudes

    • Continue to form positive perceptions of health and taste
    • Communicate health with nutritional claims, simple ingredients
    • Positive taste perceptions are within reach
      • Figure 62: Non-dairy frozen treat attitudes, February 2021
    • Non-dairy fans have more positive perceptions, higher expectations
      • Figure 63: Non-dairy frozen treat attitudes, by generation, February 2021
  22. Innovation to Motivate Product Trial

    • Highlight ingredient quality and functionality
      • Figure 64: Innovation to motivate product trial, February 2021
    • Natural sweeteners have the broadest appeal
      • Figure 65: Innovation to motivate product trial, by age, February 2021
    • Consumers recognize that premium options come at a premium price
      • Figure 66: Innovation to motivate product trial, by financial situation, February 2021
  23. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  24. Menu Matrix Methodology

  25. Food and Drink Segmentation

  26. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of ice cream and frozen novelties, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 68: Average household spending on ice cream and frozen novelties, 2015-20
      • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of ice cream, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of ice cream, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 71: Multi-outlet sales of ice cream, by value and volume, 2015-20
      • Figure 72: Total US retail sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen novelties, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen novelties, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 75: Multi-outlet sales of frozen novelties, by value and volume, 2015-20
      • Figure 76: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen yogurt/non-dairy, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 77: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen yogurt/non-dairy, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 78: Multi-outlet sales of frozen yogurt/non-dairy, by value and volume, 2015-20
      • Figure 79: Total US retail sales and forecast of sherbet/sorbet/ices, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 80: Total US retail sales and forecast of sherbet/sorbet/ices, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 81: Multi-outlet sales of sherbet/sorbet/ices, by value and volume, 2015-20
  27. Appendix – Retail Channels

      • Figure 82: Total US retail sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 83: Total US retail sales of ice cream and frozen novelties, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
  28. Appendix – Brands and Companies

      • Figure 84: Multi-outlet sales of frozen novelties, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 85: Multi-outlet sales of ice cream, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 86: Multi-outlet sales of frozen yogurt/non-dairy, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 87: Multi-outlet sales of sherbet/sorbet/ices, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us