We all love a nice treat and they don't come more indulgent than ice cream. That's why we now eat just as much ice cream outside of summer and even in the dead of winter, the super cold treat is finding its way into our chopping baskets.
A recent study by Unilever showed that retailers need to keep their fridges stocked up all year round because shoppers demand for ice cream doesn't wain when the colder seasons kick in.
The study may be slightly skewed by the pandemic though because Horácio Cal, ice-cream brand experience director at Unilever, said: "In the last year, we've been much closer to home than usual. We've all been seeking ways to create moments of joy, which has included reaching for our favourite ice-cream for a moment of indulgence. These occasions, combined with our love for a familiar treat, have contributed to a strong performance in ice-cream sales."
There used to be a day when the only time our tongues would get a lick of whipped frozen cream is when we're either visiting the seaside or an ice cream van parks up on our street corner.
These days, however, take-home ice-cream formats make up the biggest segment of the overall frozen category according to Kantar research.
We all love a tub of ice cream we can dip into whenever we need a little bit of joy and tubs of ice cream sales are on the rise but the real growth is in hand-held ice-cream sticks.
Michelle Frost, general manager at Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats says their sales of hand-held ice-cream sticks are growing at almost 15% year on year, with brands such as Mars Ice Cream Bar, Snickers Ice Cream Bar, Maltesers Ice Cream, Bounty Ice Cream Bar, Skittles Cooler and Twix Cream Bar leading the charge.
Another driving factor behind the rise in sales is the trends, such as low-calorie, dairy-free and vegan offerings.
Although sales of ice cream are on the up, they are still yet to recover from the highs of 2013 when they dropped from 430 million litres in 2013 to just over 300 million litres in 2014. (Source Office for National Statistics UK).