Consumers might be saving on their shopping basket but they have no intention of crossing ice cream off the list.
What’s more, new research from Mintel reveals that flavour tops price for the most influential purchasing factor – the taste being chosen by 66% of consumers compared to 57% who are most influenced by cost.
The UK ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt market has withstood economic difficulties and, Mintel estimates, it will reach £1bn this year – up from £998m in 2010. Mintel believes it will also continue to grow, increasing by 11% to 2016, to reach a total of £1.13bn.
Ice cream is eaten by around nine in 10 consumers, and it seems that the tighter money becomes, the more people look for evenings in and indulging themselves.
Kiti Soininen, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, says: “Typically eaten as a treat, [ice cream] has benefited from the rising demand for affordable treats brought in by the recession. As consumers are expected to remain cautious, the market looks well-positioned to continue to benefit from this. We all need a quick emotional pick-me-up on occasion – and sometimes we want it in consumable form.”
Moreover, it appears today’s consumers expect more than the usual chocolate and vanilla flavour varieties. Almost half of those surveyed said they like to try new flavours, and a similar number are interested in unusual or exotic flavours.
Said Soininen: “Our consumer research suggests opportunities for brands to engage consumers through factors other than price. A unique flavour signature, such as the Salted Caramel Popcorn ice cream or innovations such as Indian-style Cardamom and Irish Cream and Whiskey flavoured ice cream, could thus be the key to securing brand loyalty.”