Nestlé Professional reveals ‘inside scoop’ on ice cream market

New research from Nestlé Professional offers a deep dive into the ever-evolving landscape of ice cream preferences. With ice cream being the UK’s second favourite dessert when eating out and a current market value of £605 million in out of home, 'The Inside Scoop’ report offers invaluable consumer insights. It highlights emerging trends and provides operators with top tips to help maximise their presence in the category.

Based on a survey of 1,007 consumers, this report delves into the current state of the ice cream market, uncovers what's driving growth and what consumers are eating and where.

A key takeaway reveals that consumers want personalisation. 9 out of 10 (89%) say they like to embellish their ice cream, with flavoured sauces (45%) and chocolate pieces (34%) being the most popular choices.

These preferences align with how people prefer their ice cream served. The classic choices of ice cream in a cone (52%) or scooped into a bowl (47%) rank as the top favourite serving styles. Moreover, vanilla (39%), strawberry (29%), and chocolate (29%) emerge as the top flavours chosen by consumers. This indicates a preference for these classic options as they serve as versatile bases for adding personal toppings and flavours.

Danielle Griffiths, Dessert's Category Lead at Nestlé Professional, says:

“The influence of brand power is undeniable in the ice cream category, with 63% of Brits expressing a willingness to purchase a familiar brand. We're dedicated to infusing our iconic confectionery brands into out of home desserts. Given the popularity of ice cream among consumers, we sought to delve deeper into how operators can optimise this category, pushing the boundaries to create innovative and exciting experiences with popular brands like KITKAT® and AERO®.

“Ice cream isn't just about the treat; it's about the shared moments it creates. With group consumption surpassing solo indulgence, ice cream has become the catalyst for social connections. This emphasises the importance for operators to provide customers with the option to customise their frozen treats. By offering a diverse selection of toppings and sauces alongside classic flavours, operators can ensure that there's something for everyone.

“Toppings provide a great option to delight consumers and to charge a premium. In fact, we found that the main reasons that people would pay more for an ice cream when eating

out is if it’s something they can’t create at home (30%), and its presentation/appearance (29%).

“Our report findings align perfectly with the product launch of our new KITKAT® Sauce with wafer pieces. With a delicious combination of chocolate and wafer, two popular ice cream toppings, the squeezable sauce allows operators to effortlessly enhance a variety of desserts on their menus.”