Frost bites

03 April, 2014
The fact that ice creams are now viewed more as snacks, is good news for sales reports Tracy West
Page 43 

There's great news for forecourt retailers selling ice cream Cornetto is available in a new size for men! Described by brand owner Unilever as the 'ultimate manly ice cream', new Cornetto choc 'n' ball is a 160ml size product versus Cornetto's traditional 90ml; it has a 'manly' price too of £1.75.

And there's more good news as choc 'n' ball is only available in the out-of-home channel ie forecourts, convenience stores and other impulse outlets.

The product itself comprises ice cream, vanilla and milk chocolate pieces covered in milk chocolate and almond slivers, with a crispy waffle cone.

It has been launched specifically for male consumers who are seeking a substantial snack offering and it taps into the growth in the snacking market.

Noel Clarke, brand building director for ice cream at Unilever, says his firm sees snacking as a key trend and opportunity for retailers within ice cream. "The snacking market continues to grow, showing a 14% increase in value sales in the past five years (Kantar data)."

Meanwhile, Cornetto classico and strawberry now carry a £1 price mark, to align them with the cost of other confectionery snacks. And there's a new cheesecake glory Cornetto, again aimed at consumers who view ice cream as a snack. Rrp is £1.50.

Aside from single-eat snacks like the new Cornetto, Clarke says 43% of consumers view ice cream multipacks as a snacking product.

"The trend for mini snacking formats small, portion-controlled treats has come from the confectionery category, which has increased its presence at the snacking occasion through launching appropriate formats such as sharing bags. To compete, ice cream is also evolving and starting to exploit formats in the same way to ensure it is the snack or sweet treat of choice."

And although minis might not be right for every forecourt, those with the space should consider them as Clarke says they present an increased sales opportunity as they provide a trade-up on price and as such can drive category value.

Other new lines from Unilever this summer include a bubblegum flavoured Calippo for children and a mojito flavoured Solero for adults, which includes lemon, lime, mint and rum. Recommended retail prices are 90p and £1.20 respectively. In addition, following the success of the multipack launch of Funny Feet last year, the retro lollies are available as singles to convenience outlets with a rrp of 90p.

It seems only fitting that number one ice cream brand Magnum gets to celebrate its 25th anniversary in style, and that style comes from a 'with Marc du Champagne' variety. This features Magnum's first-ever silver chocolate coating and a holographic wrapper. Rrp is £1.75. Magnum deserves it, as it's worth £146m in the UK, with a 14.8% share of the ice cream category (IRI).

From R&R there's the new Kit Kat cone and new Oreo sandwich. And the firm hopes to boost sales via big Easter brand, Cadbury Creme Egg, which is available as three ice creams: a stick, mini cone and tub. R&R expects sales of these will exceed £3.4m in the run up to Easter.

If the Irn-Bru drink is popular in your store, you might want to make space for the new Irn-Bru ice cream. These comprise a thick Irn-Bru shell, with Irn-Bru ice cream and an Irn-Bru ripple all made with the same secret ingredients as the drink.

Price-marked single lollies are available (£1.19) as well as non-price-marked packs.

Meanwhile, Beechdean Ice Group has aligned itself with some of the biggest household names for its 2014 line up. With this year being the 25th anniversary of cartoon family The Simpsons, Beechdean has signed a licensing deal with Twentieth Century Fox to produce Simpsons ices.

The first two are raspberry and strawberry splits, rrp 90p.

Then there's a deal with Warner Bros, which sees the release of Scooby Doo Scooby Snack ices. Plus a deal with the Jelly Belly Candy Company has resulted in two Jelly Belly jelly beans ices in bubble gum and orange flavours. Expect these to be a huge hit, especially if you already sell the Jelly Belly air fresheners.

In tubs, Beechdean has been successful with its Spongebob SquarePants so much so that it expects turnover and distribution to double this year. And targeted at a more adult audience, Losely 180ml tubs will be rolled out to retailers in June. There are six flavours including honey & stem ginger, treacle toffee and Eton mess. Bigger 500ml tubs are also available.

Grecian earn

Greek yogurt has been a massive hit in the chiller and it's now entering the freezer thanks to new Ben & Jerry's Greek-style frozen yogurt in strawberry shortcake, vanilla honey caramel and raspberry chocolatey chunk flavours.

Brand owner Unilever says the launch will take advantage of the growth in the frozen yogurt market which has seen an uplift of over 15% in value terms in the past 52 weeks (IRI).

The Ben & Jerry's Greek yogurt is available in 500ml tubs, rrp £3.99' as well as in 150ml mini tub formats, rrp £2.04.

It's all very well having the right range but you've still got to get the merchandising right for the products to sell. Emma Harsum, customer marketing executive for ice cream at Unilever UK says that to increase sales, retailers should ensure that their ice cream freezers are in a prominent space within the 'impulse triangle', such as close to the till or near the shop window to draw shoppers in store.

"Investing in a large freezer model will not only increase visibility to shoppers, it will also allow you to sell a mix of products from handheld to tubs, meaning you can take advantage of both impulse and in-home sales opportunities.

"Equally, clear signposting will make the shopper journey easier and speed up the purchasing process, so clear POS and branded freezers are of paramount importance to maximise impulse purchases."


Ice facts

The total ice cream market is worth over £992m
Branded products still account for 75% of the category
Impulse ice cream has performed well over the past year, generating over £162m in value sales and is currently growing at a rate of 8.9%
Unilever continues to be the leading ice cream manufacturer with a 46% total value share and over £460m in value sales. Its products continue to prove popular in the convenience sector, worth £137m with a 52% share of sales
Unilever is the biggest manufacturer of impulse ice cream with a 69% market share over eight times the size of its closest competitor
Wall's accounts for 14 of the top 20 best-selling impulse lines, with Magnum classic, Magnum white, Calippo orange and Twister taking the top four spots
Source: IRI data





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