Special Feature: Year In Review

Year In Review: Ice Cream

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December 11, 2020
by Shastri Mahadeo
2 Minutes

The following insights are powered by Nielsen in partnership with Unioncrate, an artificial intelligence demand planning platform that combines consumer behavior and historical shipment data to predict sales and inventory with up to 91.6% SKU-level accuracy.


Welcome to Day 11 of Unioncrate’s Year In Review, looking at the ice cream category’s 16.8% growth this year.

Ice Cream

  • With growth as high as 34.8% in a single 4-week period, the ice cream category has grown 19.3% YOY in the 40-week period since March, keeping things sweet when we needed it most. 
  • Nondairy ice cream varieties were especially sought after—the category grew 21.6% YOY in the period since March.
  • A pandemic is no time to be worrying about calories—reduced fat gelato fell 88.8%, and fat-free sorbet dropped 30%.

 Frozen Highlights

  • As plant-based desserts become more popular, Halo Top announced they were changing the recipes for all seven of their nondairy ice cream offerings, making for a better flavor and texture experience that anyone can enjoy.
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream collaborated with Tyler, the Creator for a limited edition Pluto Bleu variety, their second flavor together, that left fans of both camps wanting more.
  • Ben & Jerry’s announced their commitment to increasing the price it pays for cocoa to farmers in Côte D’Ivoire to meet Fairtrade’s Income Living Reference Price, a step towards economic justice for the often-underpaid laborers in this market.
  • Häagen-Dazs announced that America’s favorite ice cream flavor in 2020 was vanilla, proving that you can’t beat a classic. 

Up next: Bird Food

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