Inflation was the lead story in 2022. The ice cream category realized inflation of 8%, which marginally impacted unit sales, down 1.6%. Consumers are adjusting to higher retail pricing, and many are returning to their normal purchase cadence. There is heightened awareness to value propositions, as seen in the pivot to private label, realizing unit growth of 4.7%. Value is being sought across all package sizes, including pints. Here’s the good news: despite inflation, ice cream remains a favorite treat and a reasonably priced indulgence for the whole family to enjoy at home.
The frozen novelty category realized inflation of 13.9%, which also marginally impacted unit sales, down 1.1%. A wave of premiumization and innovation occurred in novelties, which also contributed to higher retail pricing. It appears that certain consumers are willing to pay more for an elevated experience.
Despite inflation, the ice cream and frozen novelty sales remained solid, selling well over 3 billion units in 2022! It appears high consumer engagement will continue in 2023. As spring resets unfold, we are seeing more innovation across both segments, and consumers are responding positively. Here’s hoping for a warm spring and hot summer!
Source: Nielsen xAOC 52 weeks ending 12-31-2022.