Secondary research summary #1 – The US Market of Ice Creams and Related Frozen Desserts Ice cream is a subcategory of the frozen dessert which has projected sales in 2010 of approx. $24 billion. Additionally, ice cream itself now captures 59. 7% of this market, with total sales of $12. 9 billion. There is currently a 3. 7% growth rate based on current sales figures. This growth in sales is not due to a market which is consuming more ice cream, but rather is spending more on the ice cream that it consumes, that is the ice cream products being consumed are increasing in price.
The increase in price is due to the general increase in dairy prices combined with increased cost of technology associated with ice cream production. The product innovation in all frozen desserts, including ice cream is increasing; however, the average lifecycle of ice cream is decreasing. The average lifetime of ice cream varieties is 1 to 2 years. At the same time, there is continued growth in low-fat variations of ‘full-fat’ ice cream products and there is a demand for these products to taste like their full-fat equivalents.
The ‘better-for-you’ frozen dessert products, traditionally marketed at adults, have unexpected cross-appeal in children. The demand for these healthful alternatives is growing. Nonetheless, ice cream is still considered an indulgence and thus there will always be a market for full-fat (super premium) ice cream products. Food service accounts for 63. 5% of ice cream sales, while retail totals 43. 7% of sales. In both markets, brand loyalty in ice cream is very transient and can be swayed by new flavours and varieties.
As such, there is opportunity to build brand loyalty with new flavours, varieties, packaging, and value-adding technologies (for example, ‘slow churned’ – which adds creaminess to the product). Current trends suggest that quality generally outweighs price consideration in retail food purchases. Meanwhile, concerns over carbohydrate content in products remains important, while consumers are less conscious of fats. Moreover, consumers are increasingly more informed; more than 80% of shoppers check the nutritional facts of a product prior to purchase.
There is a growing market share for organic ice cream products with a 27% increase in consumption from 2004 to 2005. Moreover, 60% of shoppers feel that organic food is healthier. This growth may be a reflection increased demand for healthful products. The purchases of these organic and super premium ice cream varieties are generally by well-educated 18-40 year olds. To summarize, there is continued growth in ice cream and the general frozen dessert food category. Moreover, there is increased demand for healthful alternatives. Additionally, quality seems to outweigh price in purchasing consideration.
Premium ice cream variations are seeing increased demand as well as organic ice cream products that are experiencing a 60% growth in sales. The bottom line is that consumers want high-quality, healthy ice cream varieties, without sacrificing flavour; full-fat super premium ice creams and their low-fat variations will experience continued growth and even more so in organic ice cream products. Reference: US Market of Ice Cream. (2005, Nov). Marketresearch. com inc. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2008, from Marketresearch. com academic database.