The majority of Brits are confused about how much ice cream a portion should contain, an exclusive poll for The Grocer has revealed.

Just 14% can correctly identify that a 500ml tub of Ben & Jerry’s should provide five portions; 26% say a tub contains four and 13% three. Eleven per cent believe a tub contains just two portions and 4% say half a litre of ice cream was a single portion.

The results suggest brands need to do more to communicate portion size, said Tania Page, interim head of CPG & retail at Harris Interactive, which polled 1,034 consumers on behalf of The Grocer. 

“Marking portion sizes on packs may be a useful and perhaps sobering addition to ice cream packs, which would then put the emphasis on the consumer rather than the manufacturer,” said Page. “At the moment two thirds of consumers place much of the emphasis on manufacturers to inform them about portion control. It seems that manufacturers may have to take the lead.”

The poll also reveals that 17% of consumers have eaten an entire 500ml tub to themselves in one sitting, with that number rising to 26% of 16 to 24-year-olds and 31% of 25 to 34-year-olds. Just 5% of those aged 55 or over have done so.

”This demonstrates that there are generational differences in attitudes towards portion control,” said Page. “Younger age groups were more likely to correctly guess the number of portions sizes in a 500ml tub, so it’s not just a lack of education about portion sizes. These age groups may be less stringent about putting portion control in to practice.”  

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