Bigger Scoop please- Ice cream growth in UAE

23 Jun, 2019 - BCB

With the UAE summer climate reaching up to 45 degrees, the need for cooling products to balance out the heat is of paramount importance. While ice cream sales in the UAE tend to be slightly higher in the summer, they are only moderately seasonal because of the country’s generally warm weather. This makes it a strong competitor to other snack and dessert categories throughout the entire year. According to Euro monitor report, ice cream sales was estimated at USD 107.4 million in 2016 having grown by CAGR of 4.9% from 2015.

Impulse ice cream tends to lead on sales with over 52% of the market share, take-home ice cream at 46.9 and 1.1% for frozen yoghurt. The ice cream sector is largely dominated by IFFCO Group, a local manufacturer of brands such as London Dairy, Igloo and Quanta. Other popular brands are Snickers Ice Cream Bars and Twix Ice Cream Bars by Mars; Ben & Jerry’s, Calippo, Carte d’Or and Magnum by Uniliver; and Häagen-Dazs ice cream by NTDE.

The demand for ice cream is set to increase up to USD 142 million by 2021; demand to be driven by increasing population, Expo 2020 tourism and regional temperature. According to Euromonitor’s research, the buying patterns in the UAE are changing and consumers are increasingly purchasing ice cream from ice cream parlours, rather than for at-home consumption. More ice cream parlours are popping in around malls and other tourist destinations.

The major opportunities arise for premium ice cream as well as health and wellness products as more consumers are becoming more health conscious. Frozen yoghurt products, which are perceived to be a healthier alternative to ice cream shows the most potential for the healthy category. With the upcoming Expo 2020 and increase in tourism, there may be increased opportunities for innovative and premium ice cream products in the food service sector.

For more information on the opportunities in UAE, please contact