1.1 Presentation and definition of the ice cream and sorbet market
The ice cream is a food made from milk, sugar, fruit and a variety of flavours when a sorbet consists only of sugar syrup and fruit pulp or flavours . There are different types of ice cream available in the shops: cones and sticks (sometimes sold individually), ice cream specialities to share (logs and ice cream cakes) or fruit tubs and jars of ice cream and sorbets sold in GSA (Large Food Stores).
In volume terms, the home consumption is dominated by individual specialties (cones, sticks, etc.) and by the sorbets and ice cream in bulk (fruit containers in particular), the rest being seasonal collective specialities (Christmas logs, etc.). It is the snack ice segment that plays the most important role in the sale of ice cream during the summer period, and ice cream consumption varies considerably during the year and from one year to the next, depending on the meteorological conditions .
The ice cream industry has a multitude of companies in France, and players in the sector are often small in size. A few big ones however, global groups dominate the market including the Anglo-Dutch one Unilever and the Swiss Nestlé or the American General Mills and Mars. On the distributor side, it is the Large and Medium Surfaces (GMS) which dominate, concentrating the vast majority of sales.
However, it is essential for companies in the sector to develop innovation strategies . Innovation, the main growth driver for players, can take several forms fragrance renewal , new formats or new concepts. Another opportunity on the market is the development of an offer of organic products at the higher prices.
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