Published in Marketing
Natural ingredients will gain edge in Asia-Pacific ice cream market

Companies focusing on offering ice cream products made with natural ingredients, catering to discerning consumers who are wary of artificial flavors and preservatives, will have a competitive edge over others in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) ice cream market, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s report, ‘Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Ice Cream Sector’, reveals that the ice cream sector in APAC, which was valued at US$18.4bn in 2017, is expected to register a value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% over the period 2017–2022.

Meenakshi Haran, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Rising disposable incomes and improving retail infrastructure are driving the growth of the APAC ice cream sector. Furthermore, growth will be driven by the large proportion of working population seeking to unwind after a long day’s work, boosting the demand for ice cream products that offer an indulgent experience.”

According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q1 Consumer Survey, 53% Indians and 67% Chinese consumers stated that they think whey protein has a positive impact on their health. This presents a potential opportunity for ice cream manufacturers to introduce new variants of ice cream products with whey protein to tap such health conscious consumers.

Within APAC, China accounted for the largest value share of 39%, followed by Japan (25.3%), South Korea (9.4%) and Australia (9.2%) in 2017. Thailand is expected to register the fastest value CAGR of 11.2% during 2017–2022.

In terms of categories, impulse ice cream – single serve accounted for the largest share with 66.3% in 2017, followed by take-home and bulk ice cream which accounted for 27.8% share during the same year.

The top three companies in the APAC ice cream sector accounted for 25.8% value sales in 2017, with Unilever accounting for 13.3%, followed by Lotte Co., Ltd. and Yili Group with 8% and 4.5% share respectively while artisanal producers accounted for 5.9% share during the same year.

Haran concludes: “Protein-based ice creams which are popular across the European and American regions are expected to gain prominence in the APAC region, which can be attributed to the large proportion of young age consumers trying to keep fit and healthy.”

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