Ice cream sales may be climbing (see our August issue), but sales for most frozen dessert segments took a beating. Unit sales of frozen cheesecakes, pudding/mousse and whip toppings all decreased. Meanwhile, frozen sweet goods sales ticked up. Read about innovation in the frozen dessert category and new frozen dessert products.

The frozen desserts/toppings category saw dollar sales up only 0.7% to $692.4 million, while unit sales dropped 3.1% to 278.7 million, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago, for the 52 weeks ended June 12, 2016.

The frozen desserts/toppings category consists of these segments:

  • Frozen cheesecakes ($137.7 million, units down 4.5%)
  • Frozen whip toppings ($324 million, units down 4.1%)
  • Frozen sweet goods - no cheesecakes ($230.1 million, units up 1.1%)
  • Frozen pudding/mousse ($0.452 million, units down 37.1%)  

Cheesecake sales are falling

In the frozen cheesecakes segment, dollar sales increased 1% to $137.7 million, but unit sales dropped 4.5% to 18.6 million (see table). Private label dominated the segment with sales of $59.3 million. Dollar sales jumped 52.1% and unit sales increased 33%. Another standout in the segment was Adam Matthews— dollar sales skyrocketed 175.9% and unit sales jumped 155.9%. Cheesecake Factory (The Cheesecake Factory) also saw a boost, as dollar sales improved 34.5% and unit sales were up 31.9%.

 The rest of the top 10 in the segment struggled. Dollar sales for Edwards (Schwan Food Co.) fell 44.9%, and unit sales were down 27.8%. Lawler’s dollar sales decreased 91.1% and unit sales dropped 82.2%. Sales of No. 2 brand Sara Lee (Hillshire Brand) were almost at a standstill — dollar sales were up 0.9% and unit sales fell 0.1%.

On the flip side, some brands in the frozen sweet goods (no cheesecakes) segment experienced positive sales. Dollar sales in the segment improved 3.7% to 230.1% and unit sales were up 1.1% to 54.2 million. Pepperidge Farm led the segment with $61.5 million — dollar sales rose 5.5% and unit sales improved 4.9%. Private label saw promising numbers — dollar sales jumped 34.6% and unit sales increased 16.6%. Kinnikinnick Foods’ dollar sales were up 21.1%, while unit sales jumped 24.9%. Mrs. Smith’s (Schwan Food Co.) struggled with dollar and unit sales down 21.6% and 23.6%, respectively. Dollar sales for Marie Callender’s (Conagra Foods Inc.) were up 0.7%, but unit sales dropped 9.6%.

Puddings, mousse sales get whipped

In the small frozen pudding/mousse segment, dollar sales took a hit, down 29.4% to $452,392 as unit sales dropped 37.1% to 77,001. One standout in the segment was Stevenson’s (Lone Star Bakery Inc.) — dollar sales improved 29.7%, while unit sales jumped 78.9%. Rich’s (Rich Products Corp.) struggled, with dollar sales down 96.1% and unit sales dropping 91.2%.

Things didn’t fare well for the frozen whip toppings segment either: dollar sales were down 1.4% to $324 million, and unit sales fell 4.1% to 205.8 million. Kraft Cool Whip (Kraft Heinz Co.) dominated the segment with $237 million in sales, though dollar sales were up only 0.5%. And unit sales took a hit, down 3.5%. Truwhip (Peak Foods LLC) was a standout in the segment (likely thanks to its clean-label claims, like no high-fructose corn syrup). Dollar sales jumped 54.6% and unit sales increased 39.9%. Rich’s dollar sales took a beating, down 50.6%, and unit sales fell 9.5%.