With retailers tweaking their store plan-o-grams to reflect summertime merchandising trends, the frozen ice cream/novelty category is in need of a boost across the U.S. convenience channel.
Looking at the 52 weeks ending May 15, 2022, the total packaged ice cream/sherbet category ($689.3 million) in the c-store channel was up a modest 1% in dollars, while units lost 4.3%, according to recent data from Chicago-based IRI. One theory is that as more premium items enter the pipeline, it places a drag on units sold.
Broken out into “frozen novelties” (a niche difference consisting of packaged frozen desserts such as ice cream sandwiches, fudge sticks, juice bars and more), sales rose 11.3% ($886 million), while units gained 4.9% for the 52-week period, according to IRI data.
Looking at the most recent 26-week period, the total ice/cream sherbet category rose 1.8%, while units were off 5.7%. Once again, frozen novelties stepped in to offset the lackluster performance, gaining 2.8% and 12.9%, respectively.
Many new options in frozen tout health benefits, such as premium frozen yogurts designed to improve gut health. “Choosing to eat foods that contain prebiotic fiber and probiotics can literally change your gut health for the better,” said Kristin Harlander, co-founder of Mixmi Brands Inc., Fridley, Minn. Mixmi Froyo, for instance, contains both prebiotic fiber and probiotic organisms.
Click ahead for five recent frozen ice cream and novelty products.