BDSI and UK’s Ice Cream Alliance report key Covid impact on sales

Sales of ice cream within Germany fell by 8.1% in 2020, to €2.58 billion amid pandemic trading challenges, according to industry trade body BDSI, reports Neill Barston.

The country’s federal confectionery association expressed concern that while consumption volumes were in fact up by 2.5% to 575.5 million litres sold, the enforced closure of many hospitality venues impacted notably on the markets.

Consequently, demand within the segment had been drive by at-home sales of family packs of ice cream ranges (including branded series and soft ice cream), translating into around 8.0 litres per capita, compared to 8.4 litres in 2019, pre pandemic.

“The big differences between sales and turnover are explained by the downright slump in out-of-home sales of ice cream because of long-lasting lockdown measures ”, shares Ernst Kammerinke, managing director of the BDSI.

The significant volume increases in household packs (+7.8%) and Multi-packs (several small ice-creams in one pack + 8.5%). Within grocery retailers, there was a dramatic decline of 29.6% and for catering ice cream was down even further, by 47.9%.

“In 2020, consumers have not lost their appetite for ice cream, even in times of corona and with a per capita consumption of 8.0 litres the attractiveness of the category underpinned ice cream,” is Ernst Kammerinke’s conclusion. For the rest of the year 2021, the industry is hoping for an end to the corona restrictions so that ice cream fans can enjoy their favourite ice cream.

UK challenges

Within the UK, conditions have been similarly challenging, with losses in the segment reportedly totalling £289 million for 2020, according to segment’s industry body, the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA).

In response, it is mobilising its members, the wider industry and other parts of the hospitality sector to promote their products to all those holidaying in the country this summer. The campaign is called the Great British Ice Cream Staycation and is encouraging businesses of all types and sizes to get involved. A free, downloadable DIY Marketing Toolkit is available now at

“Ice cream parlours and ice cream vans have been hard hit in this pandemic losing a total of £289 million in income in 2020,” comments ICA CEO Zelica Carr.

“And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you add lost ice cream sales in cafes, restaurants and hotels and the economic impact to businesses along the supply chain – manufacturers, flavour houses, wholesalers and many others.”

The Great British Ice Cream Staycation campaign is all about reminding people what a delicious, fun, happy and affordable treat ice cream is and what iconic childhood memories it generates. Of course, it is also about supporting our members and the Ice Cream industry to safeguard their survival.

“This campaign is not about dictating to businesses how to market their products,” adds Zelica Carr. “It’s about harnessing everyone’s creative flair and dynamism and providing them with the tools – across digital marketing, PR, influencer marketing, POS – to maximise sales and bounce back from a truly horrid twelve months. We are providing marketing materials, guides and templates free to everyone who wants it – not just to ICA members.”

The ICA surveyed members on the effects of the pandemic on business in 2020. It revealed that 90 ice cream parlours have closed in the last twelve months and that 800 mobilers have ceased trading over the same period. However, the governments Furlough Scheme has been a life saver for many businesses with up to 62% of staff furloughed at some point during the pandemic.

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