Trouble turns to triumph for a cool treat

Not even a pandemic has managed to keep Aussies away from their ice cream. No matter what, ice cream seems to get the thumbs up.

By Nerine Zoio.

The coronavirus has gone so far as to make its impact felt even on the ice cream category, says IRI consultant Sam Palmer.

“The pandemic really boosted sales over the colder period where historically ice cream has not been in high demand,” he told Retail World. “So, that’s been good for the category, including for ice cream manufacturers who’ve been really busy over lockdown, whereas usually their demand planning is aimed at the cycle from November to February when it gets warmer.

“This resulted in pressure to get ice cream products onto supermarket shelves being one of the main challenges in the category over this period. This pressure is something we definitely noticed across the board, especially at peak periods where panic buying was at its highest.

“People were just desperate to buy whatever they could, with whatever was on the shelf being sold.”

He says that even when panic buying subsided, ice cream sales remained strong right into the summer season.

“The magnitude of performance is still unknown, but I imagine that right through summer there’ll be strong demand that won’t back off, obviously also taking into account how things play out with coronavirus and restrictions,” Mr Palmer said.

“But overall, there’s been a big shift in terms of ice cream’s popularity.”

Read the full ice cream feature in the latest issue of Retail World magazine.