The ending of freezer exclusivity in impulse ice cream has meant trouble for Wall's, claims arch rival Mars. But the market leader has hit back at Mars' claims, saying it performed much better than expected this summer. Wall's was forced to end exclusivity deals by a Competition Commission ruling that also allowed retailers to use up to 50% of the space in Wall's freezers to stock rival brands. Mars said that since the ruling came into force on April 1, 36% of ice creams sold from Wall's branded freezers had been competitors' brands. It called the change "a victory for consumer and retail choice". But Wall's said it had lost an average of only 20% of space to rival brands, and claimed its market share of 67.3% represented a fall of only 4.8 points. General marketing manager Simon Stevens said: "We're outperforming our space and our expectations. We expected our share to drop to around 60%. Our competitors predicted 50%." Mars said Wall's wouldcome under further pressure next year: "With the final undertakings of the Commission being agreed so late in the season, the industry will have to wait until next season to see what further benefits a fully open market will bring." The poor weather meant ice cream had a disastrous summer, with value dropping 12.4% year on year to its lowest ever level. But Wall's said the fact slow selling "cabinet clogging" brands were in freezers was another reason for the downturn. {{NEWS }}