Confectionery sales are vital to ice cream parlour sector
The Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the UK trade body for the ice cream sector, has surveyed its members to reveal what other food and drinks they sell apart from ice cream. Confectionary was one of the key product sectors. 61% of ice cream parlours sell confectionary. The only other products that are sold by more parlours are hot drinks – 69% sell coffee and 63% sell tea and other hot beverages.
The ICA believes confectionary companies should be looking more closely at growing their numbers of ice cream parlour customers – as this is also a booming sector. "According to international accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ice cream parlours is one of the few growth sectors on our struggling high streets," comments ICA CEO Zelica Carr. "They are growing by 20% per year – which means by our calculations that there are over 1,200 parlours in the UK. That’s a large potential market for confectionary companies."
Having analysed 67,157 premises in 500 town centres, PricewaterhouseCooper reported that ice-cream parlours, together with nail bars, bookstores, coffee shops and craft beer bars, are one of a handful of growing sectors. Overall, the high street is shrinking. For every 11 new high-street units, 16 close. Yet the number of ice-cream parlours, historically seen as a seasonal seaside concept, rose by 20% last year.
The ICA’s research also revealed other important food groups sold by ice cream parlours. 61% sold cakes and 41% sold savoury snacks. For any confectionary companies interested in targeting the ice cream parlour sector, there is an annual trade show, organised by the ICA, called The Ice Cream and Artisan Foods Show. It will be held in Harrogate, 11-13 February 2020.
"This is a perfect place to showcase confectionary products for the ice cream parlour sector,” added Carr. "A good proportion of the 1,200 parlours around the country will attend, as well as owners, managers and buyers from across the catering and food retail sectors."