Ice cream and frozen desserts is not expected to be significantly affected by COVID-19 related restrictions in 2021. Demand for ice cream and frozen desserts is highly seasonal and the majority of sales occur in spring/summer season from May until September.
In 2021, growth will be driven by take-home water ice cream, with a substantial improvement in growth set to come from impulse ice cream. Take-home water ice cream is perceived by a growing number of consumers as healthier than dairy ice cream, and more refreshing.
Unilever South Central Europe is the leading player in 2021, following the acquisition of the top domestic producer in late 2018; Betty Ice SRL. This has consolidated the landscape of ice cream in Romania, following the acquisition of domestic player Alpin 57 Lux SRL by Food Union in 2016.
Across the forecast period, retail value growth will be driven by multi-pack dairy ice cream, with take-home water ice cream driving the bulk of retail volume growth. Although ice cream desserts are predicted to drive retail value growth between 2023-2026, the area is set to record a volume CAGR decline.
Consumers established behaviour also impacts seasonal sales, with many choosing to not enjoy ice cream during winter, which in turn, leads to a lower focus on ice cream by retailers during this time, with a lack of promotional activities. However, a change may come in future, driven by the younger generation in the country, who are already more open to consume ice cream as a cold dessert during winter.
As consumers revert to their previous behaviours, enjoying the outdoors with a refreshing ice cream snack, impulse ice cream is set to lead retail value and volume sales across the forecast period. In addition, as family outdoor activities commence, impulse ice cream will also be purchased as a treat for a day out, particularly during the warmer months of the year.
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