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the Ice and Sorbet Market

Update 28/10/2019


1.1 Market definition and presentation

Ice cream is a food made from milk, sugar, fruit and various flavours, while a sorbet consists only of sugar syrup and fruit pulp or flavours. There are different types of ice cream available in shops: individual and gourmet specialities (cones and sticks), collective ice cream specialities to share (French Christmas logs and frozen cakes) or frozen fruit sorbets and ice cream pots sold in mass-market retailers and supermarkets.

Ice creams and sorbets can be eaten at home after a supermarket purchase, directly from a glacier or inside a restaurant. In terms of volume, home consumption is dominated by individual specialities (cones, sticks, etc.) and by sorbets and ice cream in pots (especially fruity pots), the rest being seasonal collective specialities (Christmas logs, etc.). It is the snack ice cream segment that has the greatest impact on ice sales during the summer period and ice consumption varies considerably throughout the year and from one year to the next, depending on the weather conditions.

The ice cream industry owns a multitude of companies in France, the players in the sector being mainly small companies with less than 10 employees. However, a few large global groups dominate the market, including Anglo-Dutch Unilever and the Swiss Nestlé or the American General Mills and Mars. On the distributor side, the mass-market retailers dominate, concentrating the vast majority of sales.

However, it is essential for companies in the sector to develop innovative strategies. Innovation, main growth driver for the actors, can take several forms: fragrance renewal, new formats or new concepts. Another opportunity on the market is the development of organic products which is difficult for industrial players and necessarily has an impact on prices.


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