Popularity of ice cream tubs is melting, Roy Morgan Research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th February 2014
Popularity of ice cream tubs is melting, Roy Morgan Research

Australians are becoming less tempted by tubs and cartons of ice cream, according to new findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research. The trend would seem to indicate fewer people are sharing a traditional tub with family or friends.

In 2009, 76 per cent of grocery buyers put ice cream in the trolley at least once in the past 12 months, but after four consecutive years of decline, that figure was 72 per cent in the 12 months to September 2013. But Roy Morgan Research said to better understand the source of the decline, it was necessary to look at who buys ice cream and how often.

Just 3 per cent of grocery buyers bought ice cream at least weekly — a rate consistent over the last five years. The proportion buying ice cream only every 4 to 6 months was also consistent, at 10 per cent. The decline stems from fewer people buying ice cream fortnightly (down 2 per cent), monthly (down 2 per cent) or every 2 to 3 months (down 1 per cent).

Occasional buyers on the rise

The rate of purchasing increased only for the least habitual buyers: the proportion grocery shoppers who bought a tub of ice cream less often than every six months rose gradually from 8 per cent in 2009 to 9 per cent in the 12 months to September 2013.

“Despite having a broader choice of flavours and healthier, ‘reduced fat’ product option available, Australian grocery shoppers are less inclined to buy ice cream,” said Geoffrey Smith, General Manager of Consumer Products Roy Morgan Research. “However the decline is not uniform across the population,” he said.

Roy Morgan Research found that Australians in its ‘Career and Kids’ persona were more than twice as likely as average to buy ice cream tubs or cartons weekly.

“These people are typically well educated, younger families, working full time and paying off their suburban homes,” Mr Smith said. “But they’re also worried about their finances and mortgages, paying for their kids’ private schooling and keeping up with the Joneses,” he said.