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%.