ice cream

The summer’s hot weather looks likely to return to the UK, the Met Office predicted this week. That’s great news for the country’s ice cream makers, who have already seen the category’s value soar by an extra £55m as a result of the scorching conditions [Kantar Worldpanel 12 w/e 15 July 2018], as The Grocer revealed last week.

An increase in ice cream savings during July will also have helped sales, says Assosia director Kay Staniland. They increased year on year from 36.2% to 36.7% across the category, while most leading brands deepened cuts from June.

“In light of the recent heatwave, shoppers would have been looking for ice cream savings and, on the whole, they were up month on month for the majority of the top 10 brands,” Staniland adds.

Wall’s remained the most heavily promoted brand with 58 offers - but the number is down month on month from 70, while monthly savings were up just 0.2% to 35.2% and yearly savings fell from 36.6% to 35.2% [Promo Dynamic Brands 4 w/e 4 August 2018].

“The best ice cream savings of just over 50% were offered by Weight Watchers, followed by Nestlé at 45.1%,” says Staniland. Most disappointing was Carte D’Or, which offered savings of “just 23.8%, well below the branded average”.

In terms of absolute number of promotions, however, activity across the category was down by 20.9% last month compared with the same period in 2017. “This makes sense given that summer 2018 has been much hotter,” says Staniland. “The need for ice cream promotions is presumably smaller due to increased demand.”

Bucking this trend was own label, which almost doubled its number of offers year on year from seven to 13, while making deeper cuts: average saving went from 9.6% to 10.8%.

“This increase is presumably again based on the hot weather and own label potentially wanting to compete more with the branded equivalents,” says Staniland. “Shoppers more favour own label if there is a large price difference.”