Ice cream/sherbet sales had not shown signs of cooling off as of late fall 2011. Although unit sales for the category were down slightly (4.29%), dollar sales increased 3.54% to almost $4.5 billion in the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, 2011. The average price increased 26 cents during the period. The category includes three segments: frozen yogurt, ice cream and sherbet/sorbet/ices. Private-label brands led all three segments in dollar sales and units.
According to Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group, the frozen yogurt/tofu segment had the largest change in dollar sales in the period, up 6.47% to $212 million. While the top spot went to private label with $47.3 million in sales (a 22.3% increase), No. 7 Wells Blue Bunny, owned by Le Mars, Iowa-based Wells Dairy, had the largest increase – 50.3% to $8.8 million. Others posting sales increases were No. 6 Turkey Hill(a unit of Kroger), Conestoga, Pa., with a 41% rise to $9.9 million. Kemps, St. Paul, Minn., in the No. 5 spot saw sales increase 40.3%.