With much-reduced impulse and on-the-go consumption occasions in 2020 due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns, closures and travel restrictions, impulse and unpackaged ice cream sales declined, resulting in a negative performance by the overall market in this year. Take-home ice cream recorded positive growth, however, as more consumption moved into the home environment. Ice cream and frozen desserts is then expected to see a swift return to positive growth rates from 2021.
After posting positive annual growth rates up to 2020, albeit very modest ones at times, ice cream and frozen desserts slipped into decline in this year as distribution and sales were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales, up to 2020, were being driven by the extensive, and still improving, product availability, regular innovations and even a number of warm summers. In addition, industry players continue to try and reduce the seasonality of ice cream sales, for example with the introduction of special autumn, winter or holiday editions.
Sales of impulse and unpackaged ice cream were negatively affected in 2020 by the COVID-19 virus and the measures taken across the region to try and contain its spread. Although grocery stores were generally allowed to remain open, some retail outlets were forced to close, and people were spending a lot less time than usual in public, significantly reducing impulse consumption occasions, and therefore also sales of impulse and unpackaged products.
On the other hand, more consumption occasions moved into people’s homes, with people in lockdowns/quarantines and remote working/learning. This meant that take-home ice cream continued to grow in 2020, with consumers seeing these products as affordable treats and indulgences.
A regional CAGR of 2% is expected over 2020-2025, as impulse and unpackaged ice cream return to recording increasing sales from 2021, and with take-home ice cream continuing to see a positive development. There remains potential to further develop the trend towards healthier products in the category over the forecast period, with industry players likely to target consumers with innovations in HW areas and in terms of more natural ingredients.
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