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The big scoop

It should come as no great surprise to learn that sales of ice cream did well in 2018. Lots of hot, sunny weather led to increased sales with impulse sales up 24% in convenience channel to £124m and take-home sales up 16% to reach £184m (Nielsen data). And although the summer definitely helped sales, ice cream is now proven to be a year-round seller with 31% of sales occurring during the winter.

Polar Krush eliminates plastic straws from its brand

Iced drinks company Polar Krush, has eliminated plastic straws from its brand with the launch of a “100% environmentally friendly” spoon straw.

Magnum introduces new White Chocolate & Cookie flavour

Ice cream brand Magnum is launching Magnum White Chocolate & Cookies across all formats, including handheld and tubs, and will be supported by a £5m media value marketing spend.

Unilever adds vegan option to Breyers range

Unilever is expanding its Breyers range this month, following its launch in the UK last year, with a new dairy-free variant providing a low-calorie, vegan-friendly ice cream product.

Unilever partners Ferrero to introduce Kinder ice creams

Unilever has announced a first-time collaboration with Ferrero to bring Kinder and Kinder Bueno Ice Cream to the UK, following a launch in Europe last year.

Ben & Jerry's extends love to Refugee Action

Ben & Jerry’s has introduced a new topped creation, Topped Love Is…, with proceeds going towards supporting Refugee Action.

Lotus Bakeries introduces Lotus Biscoff ice cream to UK

Lotus Bakeries has launched Lotus Biscoff ice cream in the UK.

McCain launches lighter version of Home Chips

McCain is launching a lighter version of its Home Chips.

Quorn adds to fishless range with vegan products

Quorn is adding to its fishless range in March with the launch of two new vegan frozen fishless products – Battered Fishless Fillets and Breaded Fishless Fillets (200g; rrp £2.99).

New Forest Ice Cream unveils new brand identity

New Forest Ice Cream is kicking off 2019 by unveiling a new brand identity.

Quorn pledges to invest £12m in brand in 2019

Quorn has unveiled plans for major brand investment alongside NPD which is intended to drive growth and penetration of the meat free category.

product news: Aunt Bessie's get marketing makeover

Aunt Bessie’s is embarking on a modern makeover with a new marketing strategy, communications route and visual identity and a campaign called ‘Bring out the Bessie in you’.

product news: Aunt Bessie's introduces hot desserts

Aunt Bessie’s is introducing a more premium frozen hot dessert solution, catering for what it perceives as a gap in the market: indulgent treats designed for larger gatherings.

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: 24 June 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East132.2857.70140.12127.98
East Midlands131.6068.90140.85127.71
London131.33140.96128.23
North East129.66138.96126.73
North West131.00139.23127.30
Northern Ireland128.51131.73125.73
Scotland130.85138.96127.55
South East132.2960.90140.20128.42
South West131.66136.77127.64
Wales130.56135.65126.91
West Midlands131.3459.90139.08127.72
Yorkshire & Humber130.65141.05127.11

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