The Ice Cream Industry and Franchising in 2019

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ice cream franchising

Many of us enjoy a cooling ice cream on a warm summer day, but research has shown that the sweet treat is enjoyed all year round and the ice cream industry is growing year on year. Why not start an ice cream franchise to capitalise on this lucrative market?

Ice Cream Industry UK

Take a look below at an in-depth examination of the current ice cream industry.

Different types of Ice Cream

In Mintel’s 2018 UK Ice Cream Market Report it differentiates between how ice cream is classified within the sector. There is ice cream that you take home, which includes dairy and non-dairy ice cream of a variety of flavours, sold in multipacks of single-serve items or in multiple serving packs. This also includes desserts consisting primarily of ice cream, including Viennetta.

There is also what is known as ‘impulse ice cream’ which is single-serve ice cream that is bought and consumed immediately after. So, this includes wrapped handheld ice cream products like ice lollies, ice cream cones, tubs and cups.

Why is the ice cream industry thriving?

The heat wave last summer resulted in the ice cream market booming, with an impressive sales growth. Low-calorie ice cream brands became more popular, probably because of a nationwide tendency to watch what we eat by being mindful of what we put into our bodies. Therefore, these healthier alternatives can strengthen the volume of sales and appeal to consumers who are dieting. Yet, their frequency of sales is limited by their considerably high price and brand image that doesn’t make them seem indulgent.

The rising inflation since 2016, combined with customers being prepared to spend more on more premium products, has also contributed to the growth in sales in the ice cream industry. As of 2018, the sector is estimated at £1.4 billion, which is a rise of 26 percent in five years.

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Not Just for Summer

More market research carried out by Euromoniter in 2018 makes some further statements about the industry. It suggests that ice cream has been repositioned as a snack enjoyed all year round. Rather than being a seasonal treat enjoyed on warmer days, ice cream has transitioned into being eaten whenever one feels like it. This is demonstrated by consumers buying higher quantities of ice cream and also spending more per product.

More Options Out There

Consumers are increasingly becoming more prepared to part with more cash in order to align with their personal needs, values and goals; whether that be to lose weight, to eat organic food or to avoid gluten or dairy.

Frozen yoghurt is somewhat on the decline due to healthy ice creams being the healthy alternative preference. Many healthy ice creams cater to consumers who are keen to get the same taste as ice cream but also with a high protein content. Low-calorie ice cream is the most popular in the healthy ice cream category.

Who dominates the ice cream industry?

Unilever is British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company that owns the popular ice cream brands Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum, which are of the nation’s favourites. There are also many smaller, more premium brands emerging, for example, Wheyhey and Booja Booja, both of which experienced strong growth last year.

At the beginning of 2018, Halo Top Creamy launched Halo Top at Tesco. Halo Top is a revolutionary brand that comes in a variety of tempting flavours that are low in calories and sugar but high in protein and fibre. For instance, a big tub of vanilla is only 280 calories per tub. A month later, big players in the market launched a series of new products to compete. For instance, Unilever introduced Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s bought in Moo-phoria, both low-calorie versions of popular classics.

In order for private labels to be able to compete with the innovation of the market leaders - niche premium brands and global ice cream players - private labels need to create products that look and taste as good as the branded alternatives.

Start an Ice Cream Franchise

So, with ice cream being such a profitable industry and with plenty of new brands emerging and demonstrating that they are welcomed by consumers, why not start your own ice cream business with a franchise? The franchise route allows you to operate under an established brand name that is already trusted by a pool of customers. Also, the franchise’s business model is proven and operational systems are tried and tested, which can alleviate much of the stress associated with developing a business from scratch.

Take a look below at two of our best ice cream franchises looking for franchisees at the moment.

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins is an instantly recognisable global ice cream brand. Since 1945, the brand has been dishing up indulgent ice creams and creating innovative flavours. There are now over 150 stores in the UK, making it one of the biggest players in the UK ice cream scene. It is a firm favourite overseas too - with more than 7,300 locations in nearly 50 countries. Franchisees will have access to a training package covering management systems, operational support, health and safety and much more. If you wish to be part of this popular brand, a minimum investment of £11,000 is required, as well as having £500,000 in minimum liquid assets for a five-store investment.

Creams Café

Creams Café specialises in gelato and coffee but also offers American style waffles and crêpes. The brand hopes to recreate the vibe of 1950s America. Founded in 2008, there are now outlets providing a unique customer experience in the UK. Franchisees will receive training handled by Creams Academy, including an intensive 21-day training course. If you’re tempted by this opportunity, a minimum investment of £250,000 is required. The franchise fees are £14,950.

>> Read more articles on the Ice Cream sector

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