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U.S. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Market Topped $25 Billion in '09

January 11, 2010
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The U.S. ice cream and frozen desserts market expanded 2 percent in 2009, according to a new report from Packaged Facts. But the expansion required a lot of work on behalf of frozen dessert marketers -- a variety of discounts and deals had to be offered to keep cost-conscious consumers in the category.

A new report from Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts reveals the U.S. ice cream and frozen desserts market expanded 2 percent in 2009 to $25 billion, cementing the segment's reputation as "recession-proof."

But the report said frozen dessert marketers worked hard to secure those gains, offering a variety of discounts and deals designed to keep cost-conscious consumers in the category. The report noted that sustaining those strategies will be critical to the future of what is essentially a mature segment, with sales that are expected to grow to $27 billion by 2014.

"The recession has raised consumer commitment to finding the best price/value balance in their frozen desserts," said Don Montuori, Packaged Facts’ publisher, citing efforts by manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators to meet those expectations.

"At the same time," he continued, "frozen desserts represent an opportunity for relatively inexpensive indulgence. Here again, marketers are offering bargains in order to keep volume flowing, and retailers are improving and upscaling their private label offerings."

Although good value is paramount, the report said, frozen dessert consumers also are seeking out products that can improve their health - not by reducing or eliminating unhealthy ingredients such as fat and sugar, but by adding probiotics, antioxidants, calcium and other ingredients that promote wellness.

As a result, "Packaged Facts predicts the healthy aspects of yogurt culture that appeal to older and younger health-conscious consumers will cause the sales growth of frozen yogurt to outpace other frozen dessert categories through 2014," the report said.

The company also said it expects an influx of new products targeted at socially conscious consumers and foodies, who share a desire for "simple" frozen desserts from identifiable and/or local producers, as well as those aimed at Hispanic Americans and others who enjoy products with a "Latin" flavor.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the report, visit http://www.packagedfacts.com.

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