With the hot days of summer now upon much of the U.S., a scoop or two of ice cream can be a perfect treat to help cool down. But while the dawn of summer has inspired an uptick in traditional ice cream sales, frozen custard and non-dairy ice cream are driving much more significant growth in the overall ice cream category.
While dairy milk sales may be down in the U.S., the country’s ice cream market has seen continued growth over the past four years. In the 52 weeks ended May 28, 2016, Americans had spent almost $6.5 billion on ice cream. But it’s not just ice cream U.S. consumers are picking up at the grocery store. They’re also buying frozen custard, non-diary ice cream and sorbet, and these products are driving much of the category’s overall growth.
And it’s not just custard and non-dairy ice cream that Americans are showing a preference for. They also favor locally made ice cream products. Notably, 36% of American consumers who purchase ice cream say they prefer to buy a local brand, while 31% have a preference for global brands.
Whether it’s a classic vanilla cone, an over-the-top milkshake or an old fashioned sundae, there’s always a reason for consumers to indulge in the summer heat. Retailers looking to capitalize on consumers’ sweet tooth would be wise to stock their freezers with local ice cream products to satisfy their cravings.