Adding value to ice cream
A Mintel report about ice cream habits in China provides me with some interesting tidbits about shopping habits in the country. “The market has experienced significant growth in online channels, including online brand stores increasing from 3% to 16% between 2012 and 2017. Mintel research indicates that this growth is driven by high earners who are more likely to be fans of online channels (23%).”
Also, they like added-value products, and tend to enjoy going to ice cream parlours, dessert shops and coffee houses.
Truthfully, we all enjoy this. When eating ice cream at home, convenience and taste is key, but when we go out for ice cream, a bit of added value is essential. I can have a lump of ice cream at home. I want a bit of a show when I head out of the house from my desserts.
And even though it remains the world’s number one flavour, ice cream is not just about vanilla anymore. Added value means new flavours and tastes. At any rate, vanilla’s likely to become more expensive as the crop failed in Madagascar this year, due to a tropical cyclone that hit the island earlier this year and damaged about 30% of the total crop. The island makes up around three quarters of the world supply. Thus, alternative flavours and using other ingredients are going to be even more essential in today’s global ice cream market.
Whatever you do, make sure it stays natural: 59% of urban Chinese consumers are willing to buy ice cream products that feature a “100% natural/no additive” claim, especially among soft-serve ice cream users (68%). Furthermore, consumers aged 30-39 say they are willing to pay more for “100% natural/no additive” products (65% compared to 59% of consumers overall.)
Natural is a trend that’s here to stay, no matter where you are.