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Ice cream survey underscores health awareness of consumers

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Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

Last updated on 17-Jul-2017 at 11:44 GMT2017-07-17T11:44:25Z

US consumers haven't lost the taste for ice cream, they're just eating less of it, according to a Toluna survey. ©iStock/badmanproduction
US consumers haven't lost the taste for ice cream, they're just eating less of it, according to a Toluna survey. ©iStock/badmanproduction

Consumers are indulging more selectively, and more than half of Americans said they either do not eat ice cream or limit their consumption due to health concerns, according to national survey conducted by Toluna.  

Volume sales of ice cream is expected to decline slightly year-over-year for the 2016-2021 forecast period, market research provider Euromonitor International has predicted, with the biggest obstacle being that Americans are simply not consuming as much ice cream.  

However, the Toluna survey also showed that consumers have not lost their taste for the frozen sweet treat as two in seven respondents said they crave ice cream at least once a week, while a quarter crave it daily.

Nearly one in five shoppers reported regularly avoiding the ice cream section because they do not want to be tempted to purchase ice cream.

Indulgence takes a dip

While indulgence still occurs for almost every surveyed consumer, more than half reported they are becoming more selective with how they satisfy their sweet tooth and 60% have resisted an ice cream craving within the past month.

The top reasons they are avoiding ice cream is because it is either too high in calories, sugar, or fat and contains too many artificial ingredients that make them feel ill.

In addition, more than half (53%) of those surveyed reported that they either always or frequently read the ingredient labels on ice cream or frozen desserts before eating or purchasing – up from 45% last year.

However, 48% of respondents believe frozen dessert sweetened with organic cane sugar or monk fruit is healthier, compared to 20% who think ice cream containing sugar alcohols such as erthritol are healthier.

One in 10 consumers cited dietary restrictions, most prominently low-sugar diets due to diabetes, as a reason why they avoid the ice cream aisle.

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