Choose any two week period throughout the year, and research shows that 40% of Americans will eat ice cream in it. The average person in the United States eats ice cream almost 29 times a year, and 90% of our households are regularly enjoying ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, or some other type of sweet frozen dessert. Every year, we have to buy enough dessert supplies to feed ourselves about 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream. We don’t seem to mind, though, and every year there’s another frozen yogurt or ice cream shop popping up along every street. Here are some of the most amazing facts about America’s love of frozen desserts and what we are buying those dessert supplies for.
- Frozen desserts, and especially ice cream, are the biggest sellers.You can buy a lot of frozen items in any grocery store, from frozen breakfast sandwiches to frozen pizza. But the largest frozen food category is ice cream and frozen dessert novelty items.
- Sales growth is strong and regular. With other kinds of foods and in other industries, sales growth is tightly tied to the economy. This is not so much the case with ice cream and other frozen favorites. Sales growth for these items tends to be quite steady at about 7% yearly. This means not only can manufacturers and retailers count on making money off of ice cream, but the market for dessert supplies such as frozen yogurt cups or plastic spoons remains steady as well.
We don’t prefer the big brands. In other retail areas, brand-name items can usually expect to do better than private labels. This is not the case when it comes to ice cream and other frozen desserts. Private labels don’t just have a strong market share: they actually outsell branded products. This is particularly true of frozen yogurt.
- Our favorite flavor is vanilla. Even though vanilla gets a bad rap for being boring and plain, the reality is that it is America’s number one favorite ice cream flavor. Our second favorite flavor, which is probably not a surprise, is chocolate. After these two, competition really starts to heat up and different flavors drift in and out of the other eight spots in America’s top 10 favorites. Our other eight favorite flavors include moose tracks, neapolitan, chocolate chip cookie dough, butter pecan, strawberry, cookie dough, cookies and cream, and mint chocolate chip.
- Dessert supplies are increasingly popular. While it’s true that we love our novelty items, particularly ice cream sandwiches, bars, and cones, we are increasingly interested in building the sundaes or buying specialty dessert creations from the local ice cream shop that need to be eaten with a spoon. This has caused an uptick in sales of dessert supplies as we demand more than just a scoop of ice cream on top of a cone. Our most popular add-ins and toppings for ice cream are pecans, strawberries, candy, and chocolate pieces.
- Ice cream is a family business. although it may seem as if there’s a new ice cream on the shelf every time you visit the store, the majority of frozen dessert manufacturers in the United States have been in business for more than 50 years. A healthy chunk of them are family-owned businesses. Unlike some other products which are retailed nationwide, most ice cream marketing is done on a regional or even local level.
- There are places and times where we eat more ice cream. Talk to retailers and producers and they’ll tell you that the area around the Great Lakes is the best market for selling ice cream. They’ll probably also tell you that June and July are the busiest months when it comes to producing frozen desserts.
- There is a reason that gelato is more expensive. When you eat ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt, you’re eating a lot of air. Incorporated air is what gives these frozen desserts their charm. Ice cream is approximately 50% air, while gelato is only 25% to 30% air.
No matter what happens to the economy, we just keep eating ice cream and other frozen desserts. In fact, why not go out and get some right now?