TRENDS IN ICE CREAM CONSUMPTION08/07/2022
Although the global ice cream industry suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply chain disruptions, sales now seem to be on the rise again. In Italy and in the rest of Europe, the supply chain already bounced back in 2021 with a 25% upturn; now recent figures report that the global market – valued at USD113.82 billion in 2021 – is projected to register a CAGR of 6.47% during the next five years (2022 – 2027). If the current scenario in EMEA shows a per capita consumption of around 4.6kg yearly, the increased demand for quality convenience food among millennials and the rise in disposable income of consumers are setting high expectations of growth.
As of this year, ice cream parlors in 76 countries around the world are due to be frequently visited again by millions of people. At the same time, as the habit of buying food online has become established, it is also estimated that ice cream will enjoy increasing success when it comes to home deliveries and take-away. This trend confirms the positive forecasts and supports the growth for all the three types of ice cream recognized by the global market: impulse (bought when the consumer has a sudden desire for something tasty and refreshing, like a cone or cremino on a stick), takeaway (usually sold in multiple portions or in tubs) and bulk (generally packaged in large tubs, supplied to bars and restaurants then served in cups or bowls).
Invented by the Italians and introduced to the rest of Europe since the Renaissance, ice cream is now a food of the world. Nutritious and versatile, it can be easily adapted to suit the different needs of wider segments of consumers. Dairy-free ice cream, originally created for lactose intolerant people, is now booming thanks to that 53% of global consumers who prefer healthier, plant-based foods. Similarly, those looking for a little indulgence with healthy benefits can enjoy ice cream prepared with functional ingredients – such as probiotics and fibers – or with natural ingredients that boost their immune system, like aloe vera and elderberry.
All in all, what really makes ice cream so appealing is the unique flavor experience it offers at a reasonable price. As the industry keeps thinking outside the box, new savory flavors (french fries, blue cheese, etc.) are already registering an increase in sales thanks to those adventurous consumers who wish to go beyond the usual concept of “sweet treat”.