Ice cream sales cool off
Although some brands made impressive gains, recent sales trends within the ice cream and frozen novelties categories are underwhelming
When it comes to colors, ice cream is in. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the colors of ice cream — think easy-on-the-eye pastels — were all the rage on the fashion runways this past spring. What’s more, ice cream colors are the 2018 home décor
trend for 2018, a June 1 article on Realtor.com noted.
But what about the actual creamy frozen treat — is it still trending up?
If recent sales data are any indication, it is — albeit modestly. Dollar sales in the ice cream/sherbet category rose 2.2% during the 52 weeks ending April 22, 2018, to $6.9 billion, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Unit sales increased 1.6% to 1.8 billion.
Mixed results in ice cream
Dollar sales within the ice cream subcategory increased 2.5% to $6.2 billion, while unit sales rose 1.9% to 1.6 billion.
But the data can be deceiving. In fact, half of the top 10 brands in the ice cream subcategory — Blue Bunny (Wells Enterprises), Breyers (Unilever), private label, Dreyer’s/Edy’s Grand (Nestlé) and Talenti (Unilever) — saw dollar and unit sales declines during the timeframe. The biggest loser here was Talenti, which realized a 13.2% decline in dollar sales and a 9.5% drop in unit sales.
On the flip side, better-for-you brand Halo Top (Eden Creamery LLC) saw sales skyrocket. Dollar sales climbed a whopping 246.0%, and unit sales jumped 278.5%. Blue Bell (Blue Bell Creameries) also impressed, posting 12.8% and 6.1% dollar and unit sales gains, respectively.
Sherbet sales rise slightly
Dollar sales within the sherbet/sorbet/ices subcategory climbed 2.5% to $194.4 million. Unit sales increased 1.5% to 64.0 million.
Making the biggest jump here was Talenti, posting 36.7% and 41.3% dollar and unit sales gains, respectively. Prairie Farms also showed impressive growth, with dollar sales rising 12.2% and unit sales increasing 10.5%.
Several brands posted steep declines, however. Sno Balls (Hostess Brands) saw 21.6% dollar and unit sales decreases, while Häagen-Dazs realized an 18% drop in dollar sales and a 19.6 decline in unit sales.
Dollar sales within the slightly larger frozen yogurt/tofu subcategory, meanwhile, increased a modest 0.4% to $281.1 million. But unit sales took a 1.8% dive.
Here, the So Delicious brand (So Delicious Dairy Free) came out the winner, posting an 18.1% dollar sales gain and a 20.5% unit sales improvement. Blue Bunny lost the most ground here, with dollar sales falling 33.6% and unit sales plunging 33.0%.
Novelty sales were flat
The frozen novelties segment saw a slight rise in dollar sales — 0.9% — reaching $4.6 billion (excluding ice cream/ice milk desserts and ice pop novelties). However, unit sales fell 1.4% to 1.4 billion.
Leading the top 10 brands in growth was Blue Bunny, which posted a 10.1% increase in dollar sales and a 7.5% gain in unit sales. Nestlé came in second in terms of dollar sales (up 7.1%), but the brand’s unit sales actually fell 1.7%.
Losing the most ground among the top 10 was Good Humor (Unilever). The brand’s dollar sales dropped 9.8%, while its unit sales plummeted 12.6%.