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United Kingdom ice cream market: £1.6 billion industry in 2012

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2013 17:16 GMT

Unilever UK Ltd retained its leading position in the United Kingdom ice cream market with a share of 30% in 2012. In value terms, the company's retail sales reached £479 million, a 22% increase on 2011. Unilever's top brands are Magnum and Cornetto. Unilever Group is also the GBO of Ben & Jerry's, thus operates the leading three brands in ice cream. The company continues to offer new variants that have been well received by the public. Notable new product developments included Magnum Infinity (stick), Cornetto Enigma (cone) and Ben & Jerry's Core range (500ml tubs of ice cream with a soft core of chocolate truffle). The latter, under the NBO Ben & Jerry Homemade Ltd, was supported by an unprecedented £5 million advertising campaign.

2012 saw a series of events considered worthy of gathering and eating together, such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, UEFA Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics. This was combined with the indulgence trend, which was strong in British households in the second half of the review period. People stayed at home more, partly due to financial constraints, however they remained keen to treat themselves. The ice cream category benefited from this trend.

Innovation is expected to be the main driver of growth over the forecast period, with manufacturers set to launch more new products, particularly in the premium segment, as indulgence remains a key consumer trend. Constant value sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 1% and volume sales at a CAGR of 2% through to 2017, slowing down from the growth over the review period but still positive. There has been so much innovation over the past two years that the market is likely to slow down, unless a wave of new product development hit the market, which is possible if, for example, summers get hotter in the coming years.

Key Headlines

- The ice cream category grows by 9% in current value terms in 2012, reaching sales of £1,607 million, and by 5% in volume terms
- In 2012, the category enters a new era as indulgence remains key and competition from private label threatens premium brands
- The fastest growing category in value terms in 2012 is frozen yogurt at 20%, while single portion dairy ice cream sees the fastest volume growth, at 10%
- Unit prices increase by 4% in 2012
- Unilever UK Ltd continues to lead the ice cream category with a 30% value share
- Ice cream sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 1% in constant value terms and 2% in volume terms over the forecast period

For more information on the United Kingdom ice cream market, please click here: United Kingdom ice cream market

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