Despite having a broader choice of flavours and healthier, reduced fat product options available, Australians are now less tempted by tubs of ice cream.
In 2009, 76% of grocery buyers put ice cream in the trolley at least once in the previous 12 months. But after four consecutive years of decline, that figure is now 72%.
Just 3% of grocery buyers buy ice cream tubs at least once a week—a rate that has been consistent over the last five years. The proportion buying ice cream only every 4-6 months is also steady, at 10%.
As a result, the overall decline stems from fewer people buying ice cream fortnightly (down 2% points), monthly (down 2%) or every 2-3 months (down 1% point).
The rate of purchasing increased only for the least habitual buyers: the proportion of grocery shoppers who buy a tub less often than every six months has risen gradually from 8% since 2009, and is now 9%.
Geoffrey Smith, general manager for consumer products at Roy Morgan Research, said the decline has not been uniform across the population: “Australians in the ‘Career and Kids’ category are over twice as likely as average to buy ice cream tubs or cartons weekly.
“These people are typically well educated, younger families working full-time and paying off their suburban homes, But they’re also worried about their finances and mortgages, paying for their kids’ private schooling and keeping up with the Joneses.”