Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ice cream in the Covid era

Many Australians are eating more ice cream than they did before the pandemic, says Peters Ice Cream Grocery Category Manager Marylyn Navarro.

“[Consumers] are looking for ways to treat themselves and these rituals of eating ice cream at home have been deepened over the last few years,” she says.

“This helps to account for the overall growth of the category, and in particular growth across the snacking and family fun segments.

“With the rise of snacking as a macro food trend, it’s no surprise that snacking products within the ice cream category are performing incredibly well. The snacking segment of ice cream has really been driving category growth, growing by 12.3% from a value point of view [IRI, AU Grocery Scan, Value, MAT to 5/6/22].”

Ms Navarro points to Peters’ Drumstick and Maxibon brands as two popular brands in this segment, with both continuing to perform “strongly”, growing 9.3% and 21.7% respectively in the 12 months to June (IRI, AU Grocery Scan, Value, MAT to 5/6/22).

She adds that introducing interesting textures and flavour combinations are “proving a hit” within ice cream.

“Even beyond the ice cream category, many recent product launches have centred around the concept of providing ‘more’ inclusions,” she says.

“The Drumstick Fudge range which launched into ice cream in January, introduced a thick fudge centre through the Drumstick cone, while the new Maxibon Waffle innovation brings to market a completely new textural experience to Aussies.”

Licences and brand collaborations also continue to resonate in the category, says Ms Navarro.

“The recently introduced Cadbury Caramello four-pack has hit the market with strong launch sales,” she says.

Ms Navarro advises retailers to “ensure the category has the breadth and depth in the range that reflects the changing needs of the Australian consumer”, which she says include accommodating better-for-you and sustainability trends.

“Consider ranging implications on the weather and seasonality of certain product formats and segments, [too],” she says. “While ice cream sales peak in the summer, many Aussies think ice cream is great any time of the year. Ensure sufficient stock to meet demand, even in the cooler months.”

Ms Navarro also recommends creating a destination in the freezer, leveraging the ice cream category. This, she says, involves using “theatre and excitement via engaging and interactive POS and new news”, adding that off-location ranging, POS visibility or cross-category promotions can help prompt unplanned purchase of the category, as well.

Read more from ice cream brands in the August issue of Retail World.

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