Ice cubes sales soared in late summer as the Ice Bucket Challenge for charity caught the imagination of consumers.
According to global market and shopper intelligence firm IRI, the ice cube market – which is worth around £35 million annually – saw value sales of £1.6 million in the week ending August 30, as millions took to Facebook and other social media to post videos of themselves being soaked in ice-cold water.
The Ice Bucket Challenge encouraged nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation was that nominated participants had 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation. The Challenge was in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and other charities including Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tim Eales, Director of Strategic Insight at IRI, said: “We started to see ice cube sales rise in the last week of August despite the fact that the weather has been much cooler, so it was clear that something else was affecting the figures.” He noted that while other frozen products like desserts and ice cream fell in the month, ice cube sales “went up and up”, with people spending over £1m per week on them on average in August, and £1.6m in the final week of the month.
According to IRI, there have been over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos posted on Facebook, and 28 million people have uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts.