Ice cream: The ultimate year-round indulgence

Ice cream: The ultimate year-round indulgence

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Is there ever a bad time to consume ice cream? While the summer months might offer more ideal occasions to cool off with one’s favorite frozen dessert, the reality is that the majority of Americans eat ice cream year-round without regard to the outside temperatures. Packaged Facts research reveals that this year-round love affair with ice cream as the ultimate indulgent treat holds true across the full spectrum of demographic segments that comprise the U.S. population.

Data published in Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition (April 2014) shows that the proportion of American households and individuals who consume frozen dessert is so high that there is little “spiking” of consumption, either above or below the norm, among any segments by age, ethnicity, income, education, region, etc. In fact, based on Packaged Facts January/February 2014 online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, frozen dessert consumption is so common that about 86% of the population reports eating ice cream all year round to some extent.

This unabashed fondness for ice cream anytime may be somewhat surprising considering the rising nationwide focus on health, wellness, and proper nutrition. And indeed about half of the respondents to Packaged Facts’ survey who do not eat ice cream cited nutrition and/or health concerns as the reason. In terms of nutrition, consumers say they don’t eat ice cream because of its fat, sugar, and/or calorie content. Nevertheless, there is a shifting mindset among ice cream lovers who increasingly view the treat less as a dessert and more as a snack that can be enjoyed throughout the day. More than half of respondents to Packaged Facts’ survey consider ice cream an evening snack, about one-quarter consume it as a late-night snack, and another one-quarter as an afternoon snack. Some even snack on ice cream in the morning. Of course, ice cream hasn’t been completely disregarded as dessert, with nearly half eating it after dinner and 13% after lunch.

For more information on Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition and other reports in Packaged Facts’ extensive catalog of food and beverage market research studies visit http://www.packagedfacts.com/food-beverage-market-c84/