vanilla choc chip ice cream

Source: Unsplash

Focus On: Ice Cream by Abbie Dawson

Download the synopsis here

Publishing: 27 February 2021

Advertising deadline: 12 February 2021

Submissions deadline: 9 February 2021

The Story

For the past year, Britain has been seeking solace at the bottom of an ice cream tub or at the end of a lolly stick, driving ice cream sales growth of more than £160m (15.4%). More indulgent lines have driven most growth. Why? What does this mean for the future of ice cream? What are the long-term prospects for ‘healthier’ lines? Given that ice cream manufacturers appear to have spectacularly missed PHE’s target of a 20% sugar reduction by 2020, is the sector heading towards tougher regulation? Or has all that been forgotten since Covid-19 hit these shores?

Key themes

Indulgence: Kantar says that at times of crisis, comfort and indulgence become much more significant motivators in shoppers’ food and drink choices. This certainly seems to be true when it comes to ice cream. Indulgent lines are flying, while healthier lines are struggling. This feature will include examples of this and in-depth analysis of the factors driving this pattern.

Health: Of course, ‘health’ means different things to different people. For some it means lower calorie/fat/sugar propositions, while for others it means products that are dairy-free or fortified with functional ingredients or protein. How are these different interpretations of ‘healthier’ ice cream and frozen desserts performing in the current environment?

Regulation: Ice cream was one of a number of categories that PHE set a voluntary target of reducing sugar content by 20% (on 2015 levels) by 2020. A report last year suggested that ice cream’s sugar content had fallen by just 0.6% in the three years to 2018, raising doubts that manufacturers would ever hit the target. Has it? Is ice cream heading for a showdown with regulators? What are manufacturers doing to reduce the impact they have on our waistlines?

Channels: This feature will explore the retail channels in growth/decline and how brands have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. We will pay particular attention to how the closure of Britain’s pubs and restaurants affected suppliers to this channel and how they have had to adapt their businesses. Another angle will be the impact of lockdown on shoppers’ tastes. With ice cream parlours closed, are more shoppers seeking gelato at home?

Innovation: A key focus will be how the trends described above are impacting the latest and upcoming launches from Britain’s ice cream manufacturers. We will be profiling four interesting upcoming launches – we require details about the product, its launch date, rsp and retail listings and high resolution (no less than 300dpi/1mb) product images.

Kantar data: Using Kantar commentary, we explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of the sub categories that make up this market.