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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.

1.2 A growing global market dominated by a few players

The world market for ice cream, sorbets and frozen desserts has been growing since **** Euromonitor estimates that the world market in **** will amount to **.** billion . The market grew at an average annual rate of *.*% between **** and **** .
This growth is explained by the penetration of ice players in the geographical areas of ...

1.3 Le marché français est en croissance continue

En ****, le marché français des glaces et sorbets représentait *,** milliards d'euros, pour un volume total de *** *** tonnes écoulées sur l'année. Le marché connaît une forte croissance mais aussi une forte valorisation depuis **** : ainsi, si le marché en valeur a cru de +*% puis +*,*% en **** et ****, la croissance ...

1.4 La France est au coeur du commerce international de glaces et sorbets

On considère ici les données fournies par les douanes françaises pour la catégorie **** (***), intitutlée "Glaces et sorbets". [***]
La France est un grand exportateur de glaces et sorbets : ainsi, en ****, ses exportations sur ce type de produit s'élevaient à ***,** millions de dollars, alors que ses importations atteignaient ...


2.1 French purchasing behaviour

Ice creams and sorbets are a very widespread product category among the French population. Indeed, the category's penetration rate was **.*% in **** (***), with an average of *.* acts of purchase per year. In total, the average annual household expenditure for the ice cream and sorbet category reaches more than **€, for an average basket ...

2.2 French people's favourite types of ice cream

Preferences by format
According to a survey by Harris Interactive, the favourite type of ice cream in France is Italian ice cream, followed by sorbets and frozen yoghurt

Source: ****
Nevertheless, in recent years the rise of the mini-format segment . This format is now consumed by nearly *% of the French, although it ...

2.3 Ice cream consumption is associated with a moment of pleasure at home

Ice cream remains a pleasure
According to the Association des Entreprises des Glaces, more than */* of the French consider ice cream to be a convivial product, and it is the second "pleasure" after dinner according to a study Kantar World Panel of January ****. Finally, ice cream is the *th most impulsively ...

2.4 Une demande cyclique concentrée sur la saison estivale

Source: ****
Les résultats ci-dessus montrent la cyclicité de la recherche du terme "sorbets" au cours des * dernières années. Le graphique ci-dessus représente la proportion de recherches portant sur un mot clé́ donné dans une région et pour une période spécifique, par rapport au moment ...


3.1 The market is concentrated around large groups

The French ice cream and sorbet market is dominated by very large global groups, sharing most of the market value. Thus, for example, Unilever is number * in France with a **.*% market share in value in **** (***).
In terms of product penetration rates, the best-selling ice creams in France are Magnum (***).

Source: ****
The ...

3.2 Ice-cream and sorbet production

A production structured around * steps
The industrial production of ice cream is based on essential steps. The production process is similar for sorbet, omitting the addition of milk in the initial mix
*) The various matters raw materials (***) are mixed and then subjected to a pressure of about three bars. Mixing is ...

3.3 Supermarkets dominate distribution

After the production of ice cream and sherbet (***); as such, distribution channels such as supermarkets or convenience stores account for most of the market, far ahead of artisan ice-cream makers, for example. [***]
Large-scale distribution and home consumption
Focusing on home consumption, ice creams and sorbets can be purchased through different distribution ...


4.1 A very wide and varied offer

The structure of the offer
The ice cream and sorbet market offers a wide range of products, differentiated according to many factors: flavour, format, type...
Nevertheless, despite this great diversity, a large part of the market is concentrated among a few types of products. Thus, sticks (***) and tubs each account for ...

4.2 Prices and production costs of ice cream and sorbets

The price of raw materials
The cost of ice cream production is highly dependent on the evolution of the prices of the raw materials needed for its production, including milk, eggs and sugar. Thus, as far as milk is concerned, we observe a stabilization of the price over the year **** after ...

4.3 A market driven by product innovation

Innovation keeps the market growing
The continued growth in the ice cream and sorbet market can be explained, in large part, by innovation. Thus, in ****, the market saw ** product launches in supermarkets and hypermarkets, which generated sales of **.* million euros. [***]

Source: ****
New flavours
Most artisan ice-cream makers now offer original flavours ...


5.1. Regulations related to food service establishments

The regulations in force for ice cream and sorbet establishments are the same as those for other general catering establishments. The rights and obligations of professionals in this field are summarized in a practical sheet drawn up by the Directorate General for Enterprises.
In terms of posting, they are required to ...

5.2. Regulations on the designations of sorbets, ice creams and ice creams

As noted on the DGCCRF site, the appellations sorbets, ice cream and ice creams are controlled . Whatever the product, the minimum weight per litre is *** grams, except for sorbets known as "full fruit" where the minimum weight is *** grams
For sorbets, those with fruit or vegetables must contain at least **% fruit ...


6. Segmentation

  • Unilever
  • Nestlé
  • General Mills
  • Mars
  • Thiriet
  • La Charlotte
  • Amorino
  • Senoble
  • O sorbet d'amour
  • E.Leclerc
  • Carrefour
  • Auchan

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