Demand for ice cream and frozen desserts remains highly seasonal in Lithuania with the local climate remaining colder for most of the year, leading to most sales recorded during the summer or through on-trade as a dessert. However, sales through the latter channel remained much lower than through retail.
Alongside the health and wellness trend in Lithuania and the demand for specific dietary needs, is the offer of dairy-free products such as those suitable for vegans. Magnum Vegan Almond was launched in the country to immediate success with Lithuania’s larger online retailer Barbora selling out within a week of its launch.
Demand for frozen desserts through retail is limited due to a lack of information about the products and their high prices, which restricts further product development. In addition, Lithuanians tend to have an unhealthy perception of these products, and often prefer to prepare their own desserts at home.
Unilever Lietuva Distribucija UAB retained its leadership of ice cream and frozen desserts due to its strength in the larger category of ice cream, where it offers popular brands Karaliski and Baltija, and the premium brand Magnum. However, the player lost value share in 2019 to popular retailers Maxima and Lidl.
Despite growing sales and value share for retailers Maxima and Lidl, which offer affordable private label options, there is a notable a rising trend for premiumisation in ice cream and frozen desserts in Lithuania, with local consumers searching for premium flavours and products to satisfy an indulgence occasion, although unit prices remain fairly high for this segment compared to other countries. Although already present in the market in a single portion format, Magnum also now offers bulk dairy ice cream, thereby not limiting consumers’ portion size, while Manhattan is also offered in a bulk format, and is packaged in a thick board tub to add a premium look as opposed to being packaged in plastic tubs.
Although smaller players continue to hold a low combined value share under “others” in this category, they can still offer consumers some differentiation if they are able to gain shelf space in retailers’ frozen sections. Iceco is a small local player which intends to increase its production by 15% in 2019 by installing modern technology in an attempt to strengthen its position both locally and internationally, where it already exports to countries such as South Korea, Gambia and Senegal.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts industry in Lithuania with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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This industry report originates from Passport.