Ice cream’s just Brrr-illiant, any time! Tasty innovations make ice cream an all year-round best seller

Ice cream sells well all year round, so it’s important for wholesalers to stock the correct products to meet demand.

Impulse and handheld ices drive a larger percentage of the sector’s growth during spring and summer, while in the colder months take home ice cream is the perfect take home treat. Or that’s how it used to be.

These days a stream of exciting innovation is keeping consumers excited about take home and impulse ice cream even when there’s snow on the ground.

Leading off our overview, Häagen- Dazs’ new Barista Collection feeds on our collective passion for cafes and coffee shops, coffee and iced coffee treats. Kat Jones, Marketing Manager, Häagen-Dazs UK says: “As a brand we’re all about creating indulgent moments and our Barista Collection does just that.”

General Mills’ premium ice cream brand’s newest innovation enables retailers to capitalise on the demand from shoppers for luxury flavoured ice cream, at home and on the go. The coffee flavours also make Barista Collection truly versatile, as it can be enjoyed in the colder months.

Häagen-Dazs has seen extraordinary growth over the last two years. The new offering open ups the premium ice cream brand to a previously untapped audience by combining Häagen-Dazs’ luxurious, creamy texture with two popular coffee flavours, Brownie Macchiato and Caramel Chai Latte. The two sizes – 460ml pint and minicups – offer shoppers more choice when looking for a sweet treat. And, like the rest of the Häagen-Dazs range, the Barista Collection is free from stabilisers and artificial flavours and colourings.

Häagen-Dazs’ even bigger news this spring is the their first ever range of lower calorie ice creams – the Gelato Collection. Ideal for shoppers looking for a lighter option, the Caramel Swirl and Chocolate Drizzle flavours have been designed with traditional Italian Gelaterias in mind. The ice cream has a very low air content, resulting in a rich, creamy, and extremely velvety experience for consumers, at 150 calories and with 30% less sugar and 50% less fat than our original version/recipe, it’s the perfect permissible treat. Available in the minicup format, it has an RRP of £4.99 for a pack of four.

Since launching in 1961, Häagen- Dazs has obsessed over exceptional, real ingredients and ensured their range is free from stabilisers, artificial colourings and flavourings. Their new premium tier is the Obsessions Collection – a fusion of highest quality ingredients with crunchy/cakey pieces and a swirl of delicious sauce, joined last summer by Peanut Butter Crunch.

When Mars recreated its iconic confectionery brands as ice creams three decades ago, it brought a new wave of excitement to the wrapped impulse cream sector and quickly established Mars as a leading player in the category. Michelle Frost, general manager at Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats brings the story up to date:

“It’s clear that Wrapped Handheld products are key to driving growth in the ice cream category, and in convenience in particular. With branded products’ value sales growing at 13%, it’s important for retailers to stock a range of favourite confectionery brands in ice cream, to reap the sales benefits of familiarity and eye-catching packaging.”

Mars’ latest addition to its ice cream range is Skittles Cooler. Available now as a wrapped handheld single, Skittles Cooler combines a fruity flavoured ice cream with crunchy pieces, wrapped in a refreshing strawberry sorbet made with fruit.

Michelle Frost says: “With a winning combination of a much-loved confectionery brand, real fruit innovation and the category’s leading segment – wrapped handheld – we are sure that these new ice creams will soon become a firm favourite.”

Mars’ other confectionery favourites in an ice cream format include the UK’s top ranking ice cream bar Mars, Snickers Ice Cream Bar, Maltesers Teasers, Galaxy Caramel, Bounty Ice Cream Bar and M&M Peanut.

Froneri, Europe’s largest private label manufacturer of ice creams and lollies, is set to launch an exciting new brand in the indulgent sticks segment, the first global branded launch for Froneri.

Indulgent sticks are the largest ice cream sector of the ice cream market and in long term growth. Froneri has identified an opportunity to add value to the category with a unique proposition that targets a younger audience who can’t find a premium sticks experience that speaks to their values and tastes. The new brand, Nuii, offers consumers a high-quality experience with flavours that are more adventurous and creative.

Launching in the UK and Europe, The Nuii brand targets adult evening snacking, where Indulgent sticks have seen 25% annual growth. Charlotte Hambling, UK Head of Marketing at Froneri says: “Indulgent sticks are the most important sector at this occasion but there is further additional opportunity to tap in to the growing premium trends with the younger audience.”

The Nuii range consists of four new SKUS, Salted Caramel & Australian Macadamia, Dark Chocolate & Nordic Berry, Cookies & Idaho Valley Mint and Almond & Java Vanilla. Each indulgent stick is made with real cream, coated in a thick premium chocolate and a more artisanal finish. The cocoa used in Nuii products supports responsible, sustainable cocoa farming.

To support the launch of the new brand Froneri is investing £3m in an integrated marketing campaign to run throughout 2019. The new TV advert aired in April supported by outdoor, print, experiential, social & digital as well as a strong shopper marketing campaign to encourage trial by introducing consumers to the range closer to point of purchase.

Throughout summer, retailers should aim to meet the demands of consumers searching for a treat, as well as something refreshing, by stocking a range of impulse ice creams – for example, kids’ lollies, chocolate snacks and cones. Keep the cabinet clean, uncluttered and well organised at all times, and always have the best sellers in stock. Putting the cabinet near the till and making the prices clear will do a great job of tempting customers to buy ice cream.

Partners for Growth is an industry initiative from Unilever that aims to benefit retailers, consumers and manufacturers by addressing the estimated £1.2 billion in missed sales opportunities for the sector each year. Unilever’s Partners for Growth was voted Best Supplier Website in an independent him! survey and Best Merchandising Advice by wholesalers six years in a row. The tips and the planograms are the most used assets. Ice cream sells well all year round, so it’s important for wholesalers to stock the correct products to meet demand, says Christina Veal, Director at New Forest Ice Cream. At this time of year take home ice cream makes the perfect dessert or big night in treat. During spring and summer, New Forest’s impulse and handheld ice cream and lollies are big sellers at leisure parks and retailers across the country.

New Forest’s impulse range covers everything from creamy and chocolatey Supreme lollies and dairy cones to fun ices, Twisted Trio and Party Push Up. The range uses quality ingredients such as real Belgian chocolate, used to coat the Supreme range, and real fruit and natural flavours in the Squeeze Ups. On the take home side the New Forest line up includes Vanilla Pod, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, Mint Chocolate Crisp and Lemon & Lime sorbet.

In recent years, says Christina Veal, shoppers are enjoying more luxurious and exotic flavours, the inspiration for the Rhubarb and Ginger ice cream recently added to the in take-home range.

“Despite the recent surge in healthier eating, many consumers still look to ice cream for the ultimate treat. Whether it’s to reward themselves, or share with friends and family, 500ml tubs are the perfect answer, as they give consumers the experience they desire in the best take home size and price point.”

Another luxury brand, Suncream Ice Cream’s ‘Gelato Gold’ Italian-style ice cream is now available in handy 500ml ‘take home’ tubs – perfect for the 2019 spring and summer season. Made to traditional recipes with fresh double cream, the Gelato Gold 500ml tubs come in four tempting flavours – Strawberries & Cream, Clotted Cream, Sea Salted Caramel Ripple and Double Chocolate Chunk. The new range enables retailers – and therefore wholesalers – to capitalise on the popularity of the indulgent and awardwinning ice cream, previously only available in the foodservice sector and usually more often seen in Napoli scooping cabinets.

“Ice cream is a firm favourite all year round and these new tubs are a perfect way for consumers to enjoy some of our most popular flavours at home – whether it’s for a Big Night In with friends or an indulgent treat!” comments Rebecca Manfredi, Suncream’s Managing Director.

“The Gelato Gold range is an established and popular brand and its reputation for great quality at an excellent price means there’s scope for good margins. These tubs give retailers a fantastic opportunity to extend their ice cream offering and maximise profit potential whatever the season.”

BREAKING NEWS – Official – Morelli’s make the UK’s best ice cream Morelli Ice Cream, based in Coleraine, County Londonderry has won the ice cream industry’s most prestigious award, The National Ice Cream Championships 2019.

The National Championships take place every year at the ice cream industry trade show, The Ice Cream and Gelato Expo held in Harrogate in February, organised by the Ice Cream Alliance, the sectors trade association. Morelli Ice Cream is over 100 years old and has just opened a brand-new factory, producing 700,000 litres of ice cream per year.

“It is a wonderful honour to be chosen as the best in Britain and Ireland,” said a delighted Arnaldo Morelli.