Bad summers depress ice cream sales

A string of bad summers and consumers’ increasing health-consciousness is having damaging effects on the Swedish ice-cream market.

The average Swede consumed only 11.1 litres of ice cream in 2005, a fall of 3 percent from the year before. Ice cream sales have been falling every year since 2002, when sales were 12.9 litres per person.

In 1990, the best year on record, the average person consumed 13.8 litres.

Last year, Swedes consumed a total of 100 million litres of ice cream, worth 2 billion kronor.

“The terrible summers of the past two years were naturally a big setback for the whole ice cream industry,” said manufacturer Hemglass’s marketing chief Toni Nora.

“We are also facing increased competition from drinking yoghurt, for example. And the health trends of the past few years, with fewer and fewer products with sugar and fat, and are also having a big effect on sales trends.”

A survey by trade magazine Bensin & Butik had GB Glace as market leader, with a 44 percent share of sales, with Sia-glass in second place with 12 percent. Supermarket own-brand ice creams were in third place and Hemglass in fourth.

“We see two trends in ice cream sales that we have to met as best we can. They are increased demand for low-fat ice cream and more exclusive types of ice cream,” said Nora.

Bad summer weather always depresses sales, and a long, cold winter also has a negative effect.

“We would be very glad if the snow disappeared now,” said Nora.