In the last five years the UK ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt market overall has experienced more than 19% value growth to reach £1.1bn in 2012 - up from £910m in 2007, according to new research from Mintel.
However, valued at £5m in 2011, sales of sorbets fell 17% over the same two year period declining from £6m in 2009. Although only accounting for 1% of all ice cream sales, frozen yogurt has been the star performer of the ice cream sector with the market having risen by 50% over the same two year period from £4 to £6m in 2011.
- Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos
- Tetra Pak identifies dairy industry’s next big opportunity
While value sales of ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt overall have been thriving, volume sales have not fared quite as well, with the market declining by 7% over the same five year period, from 374 million litres in 2007 to 347 million litres in 2012.
Indeed, while the overall market is expected to see modest growth over the next five years, with Mintel forecasting a 12% rise in value sales by 2017 to £1.2bn, a 7% decline is expected in volume to 324 million litres.
Amy Price, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “While the market has been fuelled by inflation which has seen the average price per litre of ice cream rise by more than a quarter over the past five years, ice cream remains an affordable treat for most of the nation.
"Ice cream occupies an affordable price position in the context of the overall food market, the relatively cheap cost being one of the most important drivers of underlying growth throughout the economic downturn, helping to position ice cream as an affordable treat.”
While ice cream sticks are bought by one in two (51%) consumers, Mintel’s research shows Brits still love a tub ice cream (49%) and more than a third (35%) of the nation opts for the traditional cone, while three in 10 (31%) buy lollies. Today, one in four (25%) Brits buys from ice cream vans, bringing music to the ears of the vendors.