Ice cream and frozen desserts saw dynamic retail volume and current value growth in 2020, which was partly due to higher at-home consumption, and partly due to a transfer of some sales from foodservice to retail. The category is expected to turn to decline by both measures in 2021, as fewer COVID-19 restrictions later in the year will favour a return to foodservice consumption and have a negative effect on retail volume sales of ice cream.
The health and wellness trend is leading to the rising popularity of healthier variants of ice cream. Thanks to recent new launches, rising popularity has been seen in the areas of vegan, high protein and low calorie ice cream.
Hennig-Olsen Is and Diplom Is are expected to remain by far the biggest players in ice cream in value terms in 2021, thanks to their continued focus on new brands and product variants. Hennig Olsen continued to develop its collaboration with Mondelez in 2021, after launching different Freia variants in bulk dairy ice cream format in 2020.
In 2022 and beyond impulse ice cream is set to see the most dynamic growth, as consumers resume busier lifestyles once again, increasing demand for on-the-go products. However, despite seeing continued retail volume and current value declines into the forecast period, take-home ice cream (both dairy and water-based) is set to remain at higher levels than pre-pandemic, as many consumers have become used to this format during 2020 and 2021.
Further price polarisation is expected in ice cream. Whilst private label has a very low share in ice cream, affordable offerings such as ice cream from Isbjørn Is are quickly gaining traction in the market, and this is set to continue due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Forecourt retailers and convenience stores are set to regain some share within ice cream during 2021, due to the easing of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19 and the recovery of sales of impulse ice cream. However, for 2022 and beyond, discounters and supermarkets are set to remain by far the largest channels for both impulse and take-home ice cream.
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