Summary of our market study

The French ice-cream and sorbet market is estimated at €1.8 billion.

The global ice cream and sorbet market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% to reach $84.9 billion in 2025. This strong growth is mainly due to rising living standards in emerging Asian markets, which are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6%. Major global players such as Unilever, Mars, Nestlé, Froneri and General Mills dominate a highly fragmented market.

French consumers show strong seasonal trends in their ice cream consumption, with marked increases during the summer and the festive season. The market is characterized by a wide and diversified product range, with a trend towards mini-formats, new flavors and artisanal products.

Despite this diversity, much of the market's value is concentrated on a few product types, such as sticks and cones.

Trends in demand for ice creams and sorbets in France

The penetration rate of ice creams and sorbets among consumers in France has reached 87.4%. On average, French households make around 8 purchases of these products a year, spending over 45 euros a year, with an average basket per purchase of around 6 euros. Per capita consumption of ice cream in France is around 6 liters a year, which is slightly below the European regional average of between 6 and 7 liters a year.

Italian ice cream is the favorite. More than two-thirds of French consumers consider ice cream to be a convivial product, perceived as a secondary after-dinner treat.

People under 35 are the least likely to consume ice cream, with an average of around 5.3 kg per year. In contrast, people aged 35 to 49 not only have a higher penetration rate, of around 90%, but also consume almost 7 kg of ice cream a year.

The French ice cream market is experiencing an increase in both sales and consumption. The market is highly concentrated among a few global groups. Unilever has a market share of over 30%.

There is a wide variety of products on the market, distinguished by flavor, format and type, with the mini-format and artisanal ice-cream segments developing rapidly

Ice cream and sorbet market players

  • Unilever: a market leader in the ice cream and sorbet category with the Magnum, Cornetto, Ben & Jerry's and Popsicle brands.

  • Nestlé: With a significant share of the ice cream market, Nestlé's presence is marked by well-established brands such as Kit Kat, Extreme and Dreyer's. Products range from family ice cream to Italian ice cream. Products range from family-size tubs to convenient single-serve sticks, demonstrating Nestlé's ability to adapt to a variety of consumption scenarios.

  • General Mills: best known for its iconic Häagen-Dazs brand

  • Mars: with frozen versions of popular confectionery such as Mars, Snickers, Twix and Bounty.

  • Froneri: a joint venture between Nestlé and PAI Partners, Froneri has become a major entity focusing exclusively on the frozen confectionery sector (Nestlé Ice Creams, Oreo, Milka and Kit Kat)

  • The market is also home to a large number of artisanal brands such as Amorino, O Sorbet d'Amour, etc.

  • Supermarket chains have also carved out a significant share of the ice cream market with their private labels.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the ice cream and sorbet market

The ice is a food made from from milk, sugar, fruit and a variety of flavours . A sorbet consists solely of sugar syrup and fruit pulp or flavorings .

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 even fruit tubs and jars of ice cream and sorbets sold in GSA (Large Food Stores).

In terms of volume, the home consumption market is dominated by individual specialities (cones, sticks, etc.) and bulk sorbets and ice cream (particularly fruit tubs), with the remainder consisting of 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 weather conditions.

The world market for ice cream and sorbets was estimated at 57.9 billion in 2018 . It is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.9% between 2019 and 2025 to reach $84.9 billion by 2025. The global market is highly fragmented, but some of the main market players include Unilever, Mars, Nestlé, General Mills, Lotte and Dunkin' Brands


In France, the ice cream industry is made up of a multitude of companies, and the players in the sector are often small in size. However, a few large global groups dominate the market, including the groups mentioned above. As far as distributors are concerned, it is the Large and Medium-Sized Surfaces (GMS) which concentrate the great majority of sales.

The French market has seen a steady increase in turnover and consumption in recent years. However, in 2019, the French consumed slightly less ice cream and sorbets, with a a 3% drop in effective household consumption compared to 2018 . However, market participants can rely on the market premiumisation and innovation as the main future growth drivers.

Companies in the sector are thus relying on innovation strategies. This innovation 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.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Projection du chiffre d'affaire des glaces et sorbets
  • Frequency of frozen dessert purchases
  • Quantity purchased per year by age group
  • Breakdown of ice cream sales by age group
  • Favourite types of ice cream
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Latest news

Nestlé sells its Natur baby food products to FNB - 06/02/2024
  • nestlé is the world's leading food company.
  • FNB is a French investment fund specialized in SMEs in the food sector.
  • Nestlé is in exclusive negotiations with FNB for the sale of its baby food business in France.
  • The products concerned are NaturNes baby foods, Babicao and Babivanille baby powders and the P'tit yogurt range.
  • These products are manufactured at the Arches plant.
  • Worldwide sales of Nestlé infant formulas have increased by more than 10%.
Nestlé France sells its baby food products to Mousline - 02/02/2024
  • Nestlé is negotiating exclusively with the French investment fund FnB the sale of its baby food business.
  • These include the ranges of soups, purees, desserts and breakfast powders under the NaturNes, Babicao and Babivanille brands, as well as the P'tit franchise.
  • Infant milks, the bulk of the portfolio - with Laboratoires Guigoz and Nestlé Nidal - remain in the Nestlé France fold.
  • The infant nutrition products that are the subject of this sale are produced in a factory in the Vosges region of France that employs 230 people.
  • FnB, the potential buyer, specializes in supporting French SMEs in the food industry.
  • The baby food market fell by 6% in volume last year in France due to the falling birth rate, with a sharper decline in milks than in diversification foods.
  • Nestlé has 14 factories in France.
In Haute-Savoie, "reasoned development" for Glaces des Alpes - 10/10/2023
  • The company, which mainly supplies foodservice professionals
  • Over 20 million euros in sales
  • 75 employees
  • 180 fragrances
  • The brand is distributed throughout France, especially in the Rhône-Alpes region, as well as in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • Exports account for nearly 13% of sales.
Andros aims to convert the French to peanut butter - 05/09/2023
  • The peanut butter market in France could triple by 2030, reaching a value of 90 million euros for 12,600 tons, compared with 35 million euros and 4,000 tons the previous year.
  • Peanut butter is a paste containing 80% roasted and crushed peanuts, 10% sugar and 8% vegetable fats.
  • American company Skippy leads the French market with 20% of sales, followed by French company Menguy's.
  • Andros intends to take the lead in the French peanut butter market over the next five years.
  • Andros has invested less than 20 million euros in the launch of its "Be Nuts" peanut butter brand, as well as in the construction of a plant dedicated to its production.
  • Andros achieves sales of close to 3 billion euros.
Nestlé wants to conquer the vitamin market. - 19/04/2023
  • Nestlé has made more than 60 acquisitions since Mark Schneider took the helm in 2017.
  • Nestlé Health Science sales have nearly tripled in five years, from 2.6 billion Swiss francs to 6.6 billion in 2022.
  • The global vitamins and minerals market is worth 140 billion Swiss francs (142 billion euros).
  • Between 2018 and 2021, Nestlé increased its market share in vitamins from 1 percent to 4 percent, while in the same period it increased from 18 percent to 19 percent in medical nutrition.
  • In 2021, Nestlé acquired The Bountiful Company for 5 billion Swiss francs.
  • Nestlé controls 14% of the U.S. market for vitamins and dietary supplements.
  • The French vitamins and dietary supplements market reached 2.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 3 percent.
  • Nestlé is the leader in clinical nutrition in France, with a 30% market share.
Ferrero France: tax reassessment in 2022 - 24/03/2023
  • Tax adjustment for Ferrero France in 2022: 45 million euros .
  • Ferrero International sales for the year ending August 31, 2022: 14 billion euros.
  • Increase in Ferrero International sales: 10.4%.
  • Ferrero net profit: 751 million euros.
  • Decrease in Ferrero net profit: 24% year-on-year.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

General Mills
Mars Group
R&R ICE CREAM (Froneri)
La Charlotte
Senoble Retail
O sorbet d'amour
Nestlé Groupe

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