It’s no secret that grocery sales have been a roller coaster for the last two years. The ice cream category is no exception. Ice cream sales cooled off in 2021 as compared to 2020 pandemic purchases. However, sales performed above 2019, a sign of return to normalcy and a continued love affair with ice cream (Nielsen xAOC 52 weeks ended 01-01-2022).
The below graph shows unit sales, represented by the solid blue line, and dollar sales, represented by the solid green line, of packaged ice cream since early 2020.
In 2021, pint-sized products continued to grow. Brands like Haagen-Dazs gained considerable share and drew attention to the innovation and trends in pint packages. The same can be said for the novelties category. Novelties are closer to 50% share of the category’s sales than ever before. As the pandemic persists, consumers want to keep it simple and are looking for portion control, which crafts a strong narrative for grabbing a novelty bar for an easy, portion-controlled treat.
Looking ahead to 2022, we predict there will be more innovation than ever before. Brands will continue to launch unique formats, textures, and innovative deliveries to grab consumers’ attention.