- Private label ice cream products represent 20% of all frozen dessert sales, according to a Packaged Facts report. Sales growth has been driven by increasing consumer acceptance of store-branded items. An estimated 66% of shoppers consider private label ice cream as good as national brand competitors.
- Consumer appetites for private label frozen desserts have risen as retailers have introduced premium ice cream offerings, responding to shopper desire for top-quality ingredients and complex flavor profiles.
- Sales are expected to rise as retailers innovate with organic ice cream formulations, healthier ingredients and follow popular flavor trends, such as Wegmans' Peanut Butter and Jelly private label ice cream.
Decades ago, store branded products were considered generic and of lesser quality than nationally branded offerings thanks to bland packaging, branding and — more often than not — food formulations. Since then, grocery retailers have discovered that today's shopper isn't interested in discounts alone, but demands premium quality ingredients and trendy flavor combinations.
This innovation has transformed private label ice cream to include products ranging from cost competitive to top-quality. Even frozen desserts have been improved. Whole Foods' line of "Authentic Italian" Gelato and Publix's Premium Ice Cream, with dynamic, eye-catching flavors like Black Raspberry Chip and Pumpkin Pie, are just two store brands that are succeeding in this space.
Industry analysts predict revenue will increase as retailers roll out more fresh product formulations. It would be wise for grocery brands to expand their lines to include non-dairy ice cream products by formulating with coconut, almond, cashew and other plant-based milks to cater to a growing number of consumers who demand sustainable, free-from product ingredients.
When products do contain dairy milk, retailers that source their ingredients from grass-fed dairy cows should advertise this on product packaging. Positive animal welfare claims also are considered premium and can allow grocers to charge more to consumers who value this attribute in their foods.