Ice cream is one of the nation’s favourite foods. Annual value sales have increased by 11% over the past two years to almost £1.3 billion in the total Take Home and Impulse ice cream market, with over 90% of households buying into the ice cream category (Nielsen).

The category features a broad range of brands and formats, with a choice to please everyone, making it a destination category in total frozen. Ice cream is the largest frozen sector by sales value in summer and the second largest in winter. Sales of ice cream see an uplift during the summer months, with peak sales taking place from May to September. During the summer months handheld formats become more important, with lollies, cones and sticks increasing in popularity (Nielsen).

Ice cream is a treat category and enjoyment is the main driver of ice cream consumption, with snacking and family based occasions playing an important role in driving growth in ice cream consumption (Kantar). Indulgent sticks are the biggest sector in the category, followed by super-premium tubs, everyday premium tubs, lollies and cones. Healthy ice cream has attracted a lot of interest over the last two years, on the back of strong growth driven by a high number of new brand entrants in this sector.

“We’re now beginning to see this sector struggle to maintain its early success, with low repeat rates affecting some of the new healthy products available, that perhaps have not delivered on the quality and taste expectations consumers have,” says Henry Craven, Customer Marketing Controller at Froneri.

2020 will see Froneri’s brands responding to key consumer trends with NPD launching into the category to appeal to new audiences, food trends and consumer demand.

“With the continued success of indulgent sticks in the category, this year we’re combining two global brands that consumers love, Oreo and Cadbury, to create the Cadbury coated Oreo Stick Sandwich, our best-selling Oreo ice cream sandwich, coated in the nation’s favourite Cadbury chocolate and placed on a stick, it’s unlike anything else in the market,” adds Craven. “There’s huge headroom for growth at family snacking occasions and the growth of Oreo and Cadbury as a power co-brand offers an exciting opportunity to bring a brand new eating experience to the category.”

Building on its new brand launch in 2019, Nuii, Froneri is introducing a new, exotic flavour with Nuii Coconut & Indian Mango. Appealing to a younger audience, this indulgent ice cream stick boasts premium ingredients offering a velvety smooth Indian mango sorbet folded into creamy coconut ice cream, covered in white chocolate and coconut flakes. In its first year, Nuii has achieved the third highest penetration of all stick brands.

The ice cream cones sector has enjoyed growth in the last two years driven by innovative value added launches such as Extrême, Froneri’s premium cone brand. “With Extrême, we saw an opportunity to bring excitement, better quality and a more indulgent offering to the market with the aim of bringing new shoppers into the cones sector,” Craven comments. “This year, we’re launching another new and indulgent flavour combination with Extrême Brownies & Cream, our next generation ice cream cone and a must for brownie lovers, featuring a gooey chocolate brownie core and topped with brownie pieces.”

The trend for plant-based eating is fuelling growth and attracting a lot of attention; plant-based meal occasions have increased 37% in the past four years and consumer demand has driven a 92% increase of plant-based meals being eaten by non-vegans (Kantar). In response to this, Froneri is launching a new brand this year, RØAR, an indulgent plant-based ice cream that’s aimed at consumers who are looking to indulge whilst still making responsible food choices. The range does not contain palm oil and all cocoa is UTZ Certified.

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting the taste absolutely right – it has to taste incredible and be indulgent without compromise,” Craven continues. “Consumers deserve a super-premium, plant-based ice cream experience that delivers and we don’t think they will be disappointed.”

Froneri will be supporting its key brands and NPD launches with a broad marketing mix this year. With a number of different brands appealing to different consumer groups, Froneri has a tailored strategy for each, with significant plans in place that will span TV, outdoor, digital, PR, social and shopper marketing.

Luxury ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs has announced it is both expanding its line of indulgent tubs with the launch of new Fruit Obsessions, and relaunching its range of handheld Sticks.

One of the few luxury fruit and triple texture products on the market, Fruit Obsessions are made with real fruit, no colours or artificial flavours and are available in two refreshing new flavours – juicy White Peach & Raspberry and zesty Lemon & Mandarin.

The ingredients have been sourced from across the globe, with the white peach pieces from South East Asia. The white peach puree is stirred into the ice cream base to create a taste profile that is delicate and refreshing, just like a whole white peach.

General Mills chose the Mediterranean region for its lemons and mandarins, where the sunny weather coupled with the volcanic soil creates the ideal conditions to grow and amplify its flavour. Harvested between February and March, they are pressed fresh and produce a juice with crisp flavour notes.

Fruit Obsessions has been created to ignite the summer senses and reinvigorate taste buds after Kantar research showed that shoppers are missing out on luxury ice cream and are currently forced to ‘trade down’ for fruit flavours.

Häagen-Dazs Sticks have been given a new look and recipe to redefine the Handheld category. The new and improved chocolate is perfect for that first bite moment, while the signature crunchy inclusions have been stirred into the coating for ultimate luxury.

The Sticks aim to elevate the expectation of the everyday indulgent experience, presenting retailers with an increased sales opportunity. They offer consumers previously forced to compromise premium ice cream vs premium coating with the best of both, as 87% of shoppers revealed they would trade up if they could have premium ice cream and premium coating in one product (CLT).

The new pack design enhances its shelf visibility and highlights that the Sticks are free from artificial colours or flavours.

Kat Jones, Marketing Manager, Ice Cream & Snacking at General Mills, said: “As a brand Häagen-Dazs has seen huge success over the last 12 months growing to an £82m brand. This is thanks to our continued investment and our sustained efforts to create innovative products sits within this. It helps us to provide a differentiated offering to our customers.

“We pride ourselves on championing flavour and format diversification in luxury ice cream as we continue our work to expand our portfolio and unlock further opportunities to grow the category.”

Available in all major grocers, Fruit Obsessions has an RRP of £6.05 a pint, while Häagen-Dazs Sticks has an RRP of £3.99 per multipack.

Shah Khan, Aviko’s Senior Marketing Manager, UK & Ireland, comments: “Consumers are increasingly demanding choice, quality and added value when it comes to their frozen potato sides. I’d also say that the following are equally important for grocery retailers to consider; digitization, rise of convenience, health and wellness, less meat, more veg, need for transparent products.”

The explosion in growth of the sweet potato market is another area grocery retailers should be considering. Sweet potato in any form has become the potato of choice for many consumers thanks to its perceived health benefits and unique flavour and has been driven by the foodservice market.

As part of its convenience range Aviko’s vibrant and crunchy Rib Cut Sweet Potato Fries are a side with a difference and are steam blanched to retain more of the natural flavour and goodness of the sweet potato. “Grocery retailers should focus on meal deals that respond to the demands of specific occasions i.e mid-week healthy tasty dinner for one, date night dinner for two, sharing platter for a birthday etc,” suggests Khan. “There is also a great opportunity to trade shoppers up to frozen products which are notoriously challenging to recreate at home, such as Potato Gratins.”

Aviko’s four-strong line-up of Gratins are the perfect accompaniment to make meal-times special. There are three Gastro Gratins made with Godminster cheese and also a Cream & Cheese Potato Gratin.

“We also understand it’s important to give these retailers the choice and flexibility to offer the right proposition and price point for their customers,” adds Khan. “Therefore, our range of restaurant quality frozen potato products is available in both price marked and non price marked packs.”

Aviko’s range of PMP’s include: Supercrunch Chips (PMP £1.49), Bite sized Hash Browns (PMP £1) and Herb Diced Potatoes (PMP £1). These products are in high demand and sell fast.

An all new, fresh, packaging design has been launched by Young’s Seafood across its £62 million core range of products.

This redesign represents further investment into the Young’s brand for 2020, following its successful launch of the multi-million pound ‘Masters of Fish’ advertising campaign.

The new design will be rolled out across the brand’s iconic ranges, including; Scampi, Simply Breaded Fillets and the UK’s bestselling Admiral’s pie.

Young’s used consumer insight to inform on-pack messaging and a design overhaul brings all the products together under one consistent look and feel for the first time.

Featuring a simpler design, the range has a sharper colour palette and fresh photography to bring warmth and foodiness to the frozen aisle. The more modern and appealing style is also aimed to attract a younger audience to the core range.

Recognising its increasing importance to consumers, Young’s has amplified the visibility of its commitment to responsible sourcing by moving its ‘Fish for Life’ logo onto the front of the new core packs. Fish for Life is a long term Young’s initiative, signifying its commitment to doing things the right way by caring for its people, planet and partners in all its ventures.

As health is also a growing concern for many consumers, Young’s has also introduced the traffic light Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) onto this new packaging. This will give consumers a simple snapshot of the nutritional information for the product.

Jason Manley, Marketing Director of Young’s, said: “This branding overhaul is designed to inspire a younger audience to love fish and publicly reasserts our commitment to operating as a responsible business. “Our core range is a £62 million brand, so having consistency is vital in order for us to ensure its lasting prominence within its category alongside our successful Gastro and Chip Shop ranges.

“We believe this new packaging is a vital step in bringing these family favourites to the tables of many more consumers.”

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