Consumers Still Screaming for Ice Cream, Other Frozen Desserts

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Consumers Still Screaming for Ice Cream, Other Frozen Desserts

The U.S. market for ice cream and related frozen desserts, including frozen yogurt and frozen novelties, grew 2 percent to $25 billion in 2009, in spite of a recession that adversely affected frozen dessert sales, according to “Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Markets and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition,” a report from New York-based market research publisher Packaged Facts. The United States makes up nearly one-third of the total global market.

Although the U.S. frozen desserts business had been regarded as recession-proof because its performance during earlier economic downturns, in the current recession, both packaged frozen dessert manufacturers and foodservice operators have employed a broad range of discounts and deals to keep volume sales up and appeal to value-seeking consumers. Maintaining such strategies will be crucial to the future of this mature category, which Packaged Facts predicts will reach sales of $27 billion by 2014.

“The recession has raised consumer commitment to finding the best price/value balance in their frozen desserts,” noted Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, a division of “Manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators are all working to keep consumers happy by offering a wide assortment of deals. At the same time, frozen desserts represent an opportunity for relatively inexpensive indulgence. Here again, marketers are offering bargains in order to keep volume flowing, and retailers are improving and upscaling their private label offerings.”

Companies continue to introduce new items that, according to Packaged Facts predicts, could lead to a change in direction for the industry. Many of these products target socially conscious consumers and foodies, both of which groups share a desire for simple, identifiably sourced items. Other new products are tailored to Hispanics, the fastest-growing demographic segment, as well as to shoppers who enjoy products with a “Latin” flavor.

While consumers are in search of value products, they’re also hunting for products that can benefit their health. Recent items boast the addition of such better-for-you ingredients as probiotics and omega-3 rather than products that have eliminated ingredients like fat and sugar. Among the other healthy ingredients being added to frozen desserts are antioxidants, calcium, and Vitamin D. Packaged Facts forecasts that the inclusion of probiotics in frozen yogurt will cause the segment’s sales growth to surpass other frozen dessert categories through 2014.

“Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S., 6th Edition” looks at a variety of frozen desserts, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, frozen custard, sherbet, sorbet, water ices, non-dairy frozen desserts and frozen novelties. The report makes predictions about the growth of the category; addresses key developments in the industry, among them consolidation and co-branding trends; names important emerging players; and examines the environment in which industry trends will develop over the next few years. Although focused on the United States, the report also examines the worldwide market, paying particular attention to China, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

For further information on the report, visit