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product news: Ben & Jerry's introduces non-dairy line-up

Ben & Jerry’s is adding a non-dairy line-up to its portfolio and is backing it with an investment of more than £1m spanning digital, PR and outdoor communications.

product news: Häagen-Dazs serves up Dimitrov as ambassador

Häagen-Dazs has announced world  number three tennis player and self-confessed ice cream fanatic, Grigor Dimitrov, as its new global ambassador.

product news: Ben & Jerry's introduces new flavours

Ben & Jerry’s is set to introduce a new Home Sweet Honeycomb flavour to its family this winter with the message: “It’s time to come together for vulnerable refugees.”

product news: Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats expands range

Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats has launched a new frozen dessert and two new hot chocolate products.

Stick with it

Pity the ice cream manufacturers. There's no doubt the product is popular Mintel reports that it's eaten by eight out of 10 adults but not that often, with only 18% of users eating a handheld ice cream at least once a week. Obviously, if we have a good summer, consumption goes up as Mintel says half of ice cream consumers eat it to cool themselves down. But 2014 was one of the coolest summers on record and last year was not a lot better. Charlotte Hambling, head of UK marketing at R&R Ice Cream, says: "The impulse category, particularly water-based lollies, is affected the most when the weather is cooler. Cooler weather across the summer of 2015 hindered the performance of the ice cream category, with convenience sales down 4.2% year-on-year (Nielsen data)."

Frost bites

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.

Ice time

The good news is that as ice cream is viewed as a cheap treat, the category has been largely unaffected by the adverse economic conditions. The bad news is, of course, the weather and the UK's lack of a summer. The simple truth is that when the sun shines, ice creams sell, but the sun seemed to have been more illusive than ever last year. That's not to say that independent forecourt retailers should give up on impulse ice creams altogether as, according to IRI data, impulse ice cream sales are worth over £149m. However, maybe more concentration should be put on the indulgence lines like the Magnums and Cadbury ices rather than real refreshment lines. Plus there are the eat-at- home packs to consider too.

Ice picks

Easter is deemed the official start of the ice cream season when retailers start dusting down their freezer cabinets and re-stocking them with the latest lines.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 January 2018
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East124.9460.90131.85122.27
East Midlands124.34132.31121.54
London125.0662.90132.42122.10
North East123.94133.63121.07
North West124.1658.50132.51121.18
Northern Ireland123.4169.90128.40120.85
Scotland124.5774.90130.88121.33
South East125.1561.40132.52122.48
South West124.73130.24121.91
Wales124.44128.57121.19
West Midlands123.7465.23132.27121.20
Yorkshire & Humber123.9161.90132.74121.12

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