It is a question that has plagued many great thinkers for a number of years: does the rise of "healthy" frozen yogurts signal the death knell for the indulgent ice cream?
Mintel Research's latest report into the U.K.'s ice cream market said, "While sales of ice cream overall flounder, the frozen yogurt market – with its health halo – is booming, with sales having doubled between 2010 and 2013, albeit from a small base of less than one percent of the total market by value."
However, Kevin Havelock, president of refreshments at Unilever, argues that the "froyo craze" is beneficial for the ice cream market.
"People are coming into ice cream that before, were a little concerned, they're coming in via frozen yogurt," Havelock said. "So for us, for example, Ben & Jerry's - which is very big in frozen yogurt across the U.S. - we saw last year (that) 60 percent of the growth came through Greek yogurt, so it's a really great addition to the market."
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Indeed, Mintel's report suggested that ice cream manufacturers in the U.K. should follow the U.S. Ben & Jerry's model: "There is scope for manufacturers to tap into the Greek yogurt trend with frozen Greek yogurts, taking cues from the Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt range in the U.S."
Mintel reports that the ice cream market grew 20 percent between 2007 and 2013 and is now worth £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion). However, this was fueled by inflation and there has been an 11 percent decline in volume sales over the period. The market saw the biggest annual decline in 2012, with volume sales down five percent year on year.
However, while the frozen yogurt market is relatively small compared to the ice cream sector, its popularity is on the rise, especially among a younger demographic.
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