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Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition


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Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition

Ice cream marketers in the U.S. face a dilemma: a lot of us are screaming for ice cream, which is great for these companies. In fact 90% of American households report buying ice cream and frozen dessert. And herein is the challenge. It’s harder to find new customers, so marketers need to scoop shoppers away from brands they’ve bought for years and convert them to their products. And the frozen food case doesn’t help – all the products, be they from global brands or local start-ups – are shelved side by side, giving neither a leg up on capturing a shopper’s attention. The same problem exists for foodservice operators, whether they part of a global chain or an independent standalone shop.

As a result, in such a stable market, growth opportunities are hard to come by. This is not to say, however, a marketer shouldn’t introduce new products. The trick, of course, is to figure out what will make a brand stand out from the crowd, impressing frozen dessert consumers who have a multitude of choices: Will it be more Greek-style frozen yogurt? Hispanic frozen novelties? More exotic flavors or new delivery systems?

Packaged Facts’ Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition, continues are nearly two decades’ worth of coverage of this quintessential American market. The report examines changes that have taken place over the past two years in the competitive environment while also providing a basic review of market dynamics. The report examines market size and drivers, new product introductions, the competitive efforts of key players in both the retail and foodservice sectors, advertising and promotional activities, the use of social media, and consumer trends.

Methodology and Sources

The information contained in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed in-depth, on-site examinations of retail and foodservice channels and interviews with industry participants. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade and business sources. These sources include IRI’s InfoScan Reviews scanner data tracking retail sales through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target and Walmart) with annual sales of $2 million; print and trade publications such as Dairy Foods, Nation’s Restaurant News and DairyReporter.com; industry associations such as the International Dairy Foods Association; annual reports, 10Ks, and other financial releases from public companies; government data; and other reports by Packaged Facts.

The consumer data in this report are derived from two sources. One is a Packaged Facts national online consumer survey conducted in January/February 2014, which reflects a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) that is balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household, and household income. Another source of consumer data is the Simmons National Consumer Survey for Summer 2013 and Fall 2013 from Experian Marketing Services.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of Report: Foodservice and Retail
      • Excluded Products
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Growth
      • A Mature Market
      • Opportunities for Market Development
      • The Economy and Its Impact on Ice Cream
      • 2013 Sales Top $25.5 Billion
        • Table U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, 2009-2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Sales Will Reach $27 Billion in 2018
        • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, 2013-2018 (in millions of dollars)
    • A Highly Competitive Marketplace
      • Segment Participation
        • Table Segment Participation Among Top 25 IRI-Tracked Marketers
    • New Product Trends
    • Foodservice and Retail
      • About 30,000 Scoop Shops in U.S.
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Dollar Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Channel, 2012 vs. 2014 (percent)
    • Media, Advertising, and Promotions
      • Promotions Favored Over Advertising
    • The Consumer
      • Eight in 10 Households Consume Ice Cream
  • Market Overview
    • Key Points
    • Product Breakouts
      • Product Types
      • Product Categories
      • Product Classifications
      • Code of Federal Regulation Provides Legal Descriptions
        • Table Frozen Dessert Product Definitions
      • Quality Grades
      • Components Affecting Quality Classifications
      • Quality Classifications
        • Table Ice Cream Quality Classification Characteristics
      • Packaged vs. Bulk
      • Hard-Frozen vs. Soft-Serve
        • Table Hard-Frozen vs. Soft-Serve Frozen Dessert Production 2000-2012 (in millions of gallons)
      • Multi-Serve versus Single-Serve
      • Packages Point Up Quality Distinctions
      • Types of Milk
    • Market Size and Growth
      • 2013 Sales Top $25.5 Billion
        • Table U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, 2009-2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table U.S. Sales of Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts Through Foodservice Channels, 2009-2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Through Retail Channels, 2007-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • U.S. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Production Improved 2009 to 2012
        • Table U.S. Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Production, 2008-2012 (in millions of gallons)
    • Market Composition
      • Foodservice Is the Larger Channel
      • Packaged Ice Cream Dominates Retail Mass-Market Sales
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales and Share of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Category, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table IRI-Tracked Private Label vs. Branded Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Category, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
    • Market Outlook
      • A Mature Market
      • The Economy and Its Impact on Ice Cream
      • Costs Volatile
      • Addressing Health and Nutrition Concerns
      • Foodservice Marketers Look to Retail
      • U.S. Population and Frozen Desserts
      • Age, Race, Presence of Children Are Strong Indicators of Frozen Dessert Preferences
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Slow Growth for Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Sales
        • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, 2013-2018 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Through Foodservice Channels, 2013-2018 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Through Retail Channels, 2011-2016 (in millions of dollars)
  • The Marketers
    • Key Points
    • Retail Marketers
      • Methodology
      • A Highly Competitive But Top Heavy Marketplace
        • Table Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Marketers and Brands by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Packaged Frozen Desserts
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Packaged Ice Cream by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Frozen Yogurt/Tofu by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Sherbets/Sorbets/Ices by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Frozen Novelties and Ice Cream Desserts
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Frozen Novelties by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Ice Cream Desserts by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Marketers and Brands of Ice Pop Novelties by IRI-Tracked Sales and Share, 2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Segment Participation
        • Table Segment Participation Among Top 25 IRI-Tracked Marketers
    • The Leading Companies
      • The Big Two: Nestle and Unilever
      • The Next Two
      • Third Tier
      • Some Unique Marketers
  • New Product Trends
    • Key Points
    • Product Trends: Flavors, Ingredients, Formulations, and Positioning
    • Flavor Trend: Salted Caramel
    • Flavor Trend: Coconut
    • Mix-In Trend: Confectionery and Sweet Baked Goods
    • Formulation Trend: Greek Frozen Yogurt
    • Promotional Trend: Limited Edition
    • Culinary Trend: Authentic
      • Table Selected New Products: Ice Cream
      • Table Selected New Products: Frozen Novelties
      • Table Selected New Products: Frozen Yogurt
  • Foodservice and Retail
    • Key Points
    • Distribution Methods
      • Distribution to Large Foodservice Chains
      • Advantages of DSD
      • Downside of DSD
      • Distribution Is Second Highest Cost Next to Production
      • The Role of Food Brokers
    • Foodservice Overview
      • Types of Foodservice Outlets
      • Number of Foodservice Outlets
      • Scoop Shops
        • Table Major Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Chains
        • Table International Activities of U.S. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Chains
    • Competitor Profiles of Leading Frozen Dessert Chains
      • Baskin-Robbins (baskinrobbins.com)
      • Ben & Jerry's (benjerry.com)
      • Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Stores (braums.com)
      • Bruster's Real Ice Cream (brusters.com)
      • Carvel (carvel.com)
      • Cold Stone Creamery (coldstonecreamery.com)
      • Culver's (culvers.com)
      • Dairy Queen (dairyqueen.com)
      • Dippin' Dots (dippindots.com)
      • Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers (freddysusa.com)
      • Friendly's Ice Cream (friendlys.com)
      • Golden Spoon (goldenspoon.com)
      • Haagen-Dazs Shoppes (haagendazs.com/Shops/)
      • Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo's Ice Cream & Treatery (marbleslab.com and maggiemoos.com)
      • Menchie's (menchies.com)
      • Orange Leaf (orangeleafyogurt.com)
      • Pinkberry (pinkberry.com)
      • Red Mango (redmangousa.com)
      • Rita's (ritasice.com)
      • Tasti D-Lite (tastidlite.com)
      • TCBY (tcby.com)
      • Yogurtland (yogurt-land.com)
    • Types of Retail Outlets
      • Traditional Supermarkets Lead Retail Sales
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Dollar Sales of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Channel, 2012 vs. 2014 (percent)
      • Supermarkets Offer Greatest Variety
      • Dollar Stores Increasingly Important Outlet
      • Internet and Mail Order Remain a Limited but Valuable Option
      • Store Brands Remain Popular
  • Media, Advertising, and Promotions
    • Key Points
    • Promotions Favored Over Advertising
      • Table Impact of In-Store Advertising/Promotion: Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
      • Table Impact of In-Store Advertising/Promotion: Frozen Novelties Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
    • Sales and Price Promotions Highly Impactful
    • Beyond Price Promotion: Sampling
      • New Products
      • New Markets
    • Beyond Price Promotion: Freebies
      • Contributions to Charities, Schools, and Organizations
      • Locals Connect
    • Advertising Themes
      • Fun/Humor
      • Indulgence
      • Nostalgia
      • Health
    • The Internet and Social Media
      • Websites
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Pinterest
  • The Consumer
    • Key Points
    • Methodology
    • Eight in 10 Households Consume Ice Cream
    • Nutrition/Health Concerns Are the Main Deterrent to Consumption
    • Ice Cream Consumers Crave Innovations in Flavors, Ingredients, Healthfulness
      • More Flavors
      • Healthy, Tasty Options
      • Natural, Organic, Real
      • Bigger, Better Packaging
      • Lower Prices
    • Demographics Reflect Those of General Population
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use/Resistance: Ice Cream and Sherbet, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
    • 60% Are Year-Round Ice Cream Consumers
    • Consumers Snack on Ice Cream Throughout the Day
    • Nine in 10 Buy Ice Cream for At-Home Consumption
    • Over 40% Buy Ice Cream for Home Consumption More Than Once a Month
    • "Regular" Ice Cream Is Overwhelmingly the Style of Choice
      • Table Types Used Most Often by Ice Cream/Sherbet Consumers, 2013 (percent of U.S. households)
    • Age, Race, Presence of Children Are Strong Indicators of Frozen Dessert Preferences
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use of Selected Types of Ice Cream, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
    • Ice Cream/Sherbet Purchasers Tend to be Brand Loyal
    • Ice Cream/Sherbet Consumers Favor Breyers
      • Table Brands Used Most Often by Ice Cream/Sherbet Consumers, 2013 (percent of U.S. households)
      • More Than Half of Consumers Consider Private Label as Good as Branded
    • Age, Race, Presence of Kids Strongest Predictors of Brand Use
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use of Selected Brands of Ice Cream and Sherbet, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
    • Private Label Preferences
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use/Resistance: Store Brand Ice Cream and Sherbet, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
  • The Frozen Novelties Consumer
    • Households with Children Are Exceptionally Likely to Purchase Frozen Novelties
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use/Resistance: Frozen Novelties, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
    • Klondike, Popsicle, Store Brands Used Most Often
      • Table Brands Used Most Often by Frozen Novelty Consumers, 2013 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use of Selected Brands of Frozen Novelties, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use/Resistance: Store Brand Frozen Novelties, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
    • Frozen Novelty Consumers Are Influenced by Coupons, Merchandising
      • Table Shopping Habits/Inclinations/Influences: Frozen Novelties Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
    • Psychographics of Frozen Yogurt Consumers
      • Table Selected Psychographic Classifications of Frozen Novelties Consumers, 2013 (U.S. households)
    • The Frozen Yogurt Consumer
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Use/Resistance: Frozen Yogurt, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
      • More Than Half of Frozen Yogurt Consumers Use Low Fat and/or Regular
        • Table Types Used Most Often by Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Women, College Graduates More Likely to Use Each Type of Frozen Yogurt
        • Table Demographic Indicators for Use of Selected Types of Frozen Yogurt, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
      • Yoplait, Ben & Jerry's, Breyers Are the Brands Most Frequently Consumed
        • Table Brands Eaten Most Often by Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Indicators for Use of Selected Brands of Frozen Yogurt, 2013 (index of U.S. households)
      • Frozen Yogurt Consumers Are Health-Conscious, Adventurous, Trendy, Informed, "Green"
        • Table Health Attitudes: Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
        • Table Food Attitudes/Opinions: Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
        • Table Shopping Habits/Inclinations: Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. households)
        • Table Selected Psychographic Classifications of Frozen Yogurt Consumers, 2013

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