UK consumption of frozen yoghurt triples in three years

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st July 2014
UK consumption of frozen yoghurt triples in three years
UK consumption of frozen yoghurt triples in three years

While once a standard tub of vanilla would suffice, new research from Mintel has found things are hotting up in the freezer cabinet with frozen yoghurt giving ice cream a run for its money.

The warm UK summer of 2013 provided a significant boost to the ice cream market with a more than 7 per cent year-on-year rise in values when sales jumped from £1.04 billion in 2012 to £1.12 billion in 2013, according to Mintel. There was also a more than 4 per cent increase in volumes from 340 million litres in 2012 to 352 million litres in 2013.

Over the longer term, however, ice cream, has seen a drop in volume sales, despite a rise in value sales. Value sales of ice cream in the UK are estimated to have risen 5 per cent between 2011 and 2014 to reach £1.10 billion, but volume sales are estimated to have fallen 3 per cent over the same period to an estimated 345 million litres.

Frozen yoghurt growing

As ice cream falls out of flavour with the nation, things are looking pretty sweet for frozen yoghurt, according to Mintel.

Value sales of frozen yoghurt are estimated to have grown a cool 117 per cent between 2011 and 2014 to reach £13 million. Volume sales have been even more impressive as sales are estimated to have tripled, growing from 1 million litres in 2011 to 3 million litres in 2014.

Although niche, Mintel said its research highlights the popularity of frozen yoghurt—over one in 10 (13 per cent) UK consumers have bought frozen yoghurt in the past year alone.

“Frozen yoghurt is seen as a healthier alternative to ice cream by as many as two in five ice cream and frozen yoghurt users, which highlights the potential for the segment to further position itself as the more permissible indulgence in the market to the sizeable minority,” said Amy Price, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel.

“While frozen yoghurt remains a niche segment in the UK, wider availability in the retail market should help to expand usage, facilitating growth in the segment,” Ms Price said. “Expansion by leading brands should boost the visibility of the segment among a wider pool of consumers, with usage currently biased towards 16-34s,” she said.

Ice cream’s health image woes

While frozen yoghurt benefits from a healthier image, in contrast, three in 10 (30 per cent) people deem ice cream to be unhealthy, according to Mintel.

Meanwhile, a third (35 per cent) of all ice cream consumers said they worried about the sugar content when eating ice cream. Despite this, less than three in ten (28 per cent) say they would prefer to eat less ice cream than switch to light versions such as reduced fat and sugar. Indeed, Mintel said development of lower-fat or sugar versions of ice cream and desserts was limited – less than 10 per cent of new product launches in the ice cream and desserts market carried a low/no/reduced sugar claim in 2013.

“While indulgent treats such as ice cream are not expected to be particularly healthy, the impetus to develop healthier versions remains,” Ms Price said.

“So far, the use of Stevia in the ice cream category has been limited in Europe with no major manufacturer committed to its use,” Ms Price said. “With brands under pressure to reduce sugar content, staying ahead of the state stick by looking to alternatives such as stevia could stand them in good stead with governments and consumers alike,” she said.

Such action could particularly appeal to the 48 per cent of adults who are trying to manage their weight by cutting back on sugary foods or drinks, according to Mintel. Women (who showed above-average purchasing and consumption of ice cream and desserts) were more likely than average (52 per cent) to indulge only in moderation.