Ice cream sales have been ticking up, showing some promise in the ever-competitive category. Sales of frozen novelties, meanwhile, have not been faring as well. Unit sales have been falling, and dollar sales have been nearly frozen.

The ice cream/sherbet category’s dollar sales increased 2.7% to $6.8 billion, and unit sales were up 1% to 1.8 billion, for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 8, 2017, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. In the frozen novelties category, dollar sales rose 0.7% to $4.9 billion, but unit sales fell 1.6% to 1.5 billion.

The ice cream/sherbet category consists of these subcategories:

  • Ice cream ($6.1 billion, units up 1.7%)
  • Frozen yogurt/tofu ($265.6 million, units down 8.4%)
  • Ice milk/frozen dairy desserts ($219.5 million, units down 4.2%)
  • Sherbet/sorbets/ices ($192 million, units down 1.6%)  

The frozen novelties category consists of these subcategories:

  • Frozen novelties ($4.6 billion, units down 1.7%)
  • Frozen ice cream/ice milk desserts ($242.7 million, units up 5.1%) 
  • Ice pop novelties ($145.8 million, units down 1.4%)


Ice cream sales improve

In the ice cream subcategory, dollar sales increased 3.4% to $6.1 billion, and unit sales improved 1.7% to 1.6 billion. Private label still dominates the subcategory with $1 billion in sales, though dollar sales dropped 4.3% and unit sales decreased 3.7%. Also among the top 10, Ben & Jerry’s (Unilever) saw dollar sales fall 2.3% and unit sales decline 6%. Dollar sales grew 4.3% for Häagen-Dazs (Nestle Dreyer’s), but unit sales increased 2.4%. Blue Bell Ice Cream’s dollar sales jumped 17.7%, and its unit sales improved 12.2%.

Turkey Hill’s dollar and unit sales, meanwhile, were up 1.9% and 3.4%, respectively. Dreyer’s Edy’s Grand (Nestlé Dreyer’s) saw dollar sales dip 12.3% and unit sales fall 11.3%. Blue Bunny (Wells Enterprises) also saw dollar sales fall, by 9.8%, and unit sales dip 9.2%.

The big story in the top 10 and the category, however, comes from Halo Top. The brand’s low-calorie, high-protein ice cream, sold in pints, saw an impressive increase in sales over the last year. Dollar sales jumped 2,536.8% to $278.1 million, and unit sales skyrocketed 2,551% to 58.6 million.


Frozen novelties dip

In the frozen novelty subcategory, dollar sales were up 0.6% to $4.6 billion, but unit sales decreased 1.7% to 1.4 billion. Among the top 10, Nestlé Drumstick (Nestlé Dreyer’s) saw dollar sales drop 4% to $431.3 million, and unit sales fall 6.8% to 88.7 million. Dollar sales for Klondike (Good Humor) decreased 4.2% and unit sales were down 5.1%.

It was good news for Nestlé (Nestlé Dreyer’s), with dollar sales jumping 14.2% and unit sales up 2.7%. Dollar sales rose 2.2% for Häagen-Dazs, but unit sales dropped 2.6%. And Magnum (Unilever) saw dollar and unit sales decrease 3.1% and 3.9%, respectively.

Outside of the top 10, dollar sales for Yasso (Apollo Food Group) grew 24.2% and unit sales jumped 26.4%.  Blue Bell’s dollar sales climbed 47.6% and unit sales improved 55.2%.

Enjoying some success, the frozen ice cream/ice milk desserts subcategory saw dollar sales increase 5.9% to $241.7 million, and unit sales improved 5.1% to 14.4 million. Carvel (Celebration Foods) led the subcategory with $133 million; dollar sales increased 5.7% and unit sales were up 5.4% to 7.2 million. Among the top 10, dollar sales for Jon Donaire (Rich Products) dropped 9.1% and unit sales decreased 8.8%. Friendly’s saw a nice boost, with dollar sales up 32.4% and unit sales climbing 27.5%.