Ice Cream Sales Still Hot: Mintel Research

Americans really do scream for real ice cream, according to new consumer research from Mintel. The research firm found nine in 10 people (89 percent) enjoying a cool scoop in the past year, compared with only three in five (59 percent) who ate novelties such as ice cream sandwiches or bars. Less than two in five ate sherbet or frozen yogurt (37 percent and 34 percent, respectively), according to the research.

“Ice cream remains one of America's favorite treats,” said David Morris, senior analyst at Mintel. "Slow churn and super-premium innovations have brought exciting new variety to the taste and texture people know and love."

Ice cream's familiarity is what drives sales. In 2007, ice cream accounted for nearly 60 percent of total sales from ice cream, frozen novelties, sherbet and frozen yogurt combined. Frozen novelties made up over a third of sales (36 percent), while sherbet and frozen yogurt accounted for just 5 percent.

Behind those figures, however, it seems people may be cooling towards old-fashioned ice cream. Though ice cream sales dominated the market in 2007, they were also 3.9 percent behind sales levels from 2002. The culprit? Frozen novelties, sales of which grew 7.2 percent from 2002 to 2007.

Mintel forecasts the market for ice cream, frozen novelties, sherbet and frozen yogurt through all retail channels to grow 15 percent from 2008 to 2012.
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