Ice-cream sales in the convenience channel have grown by 5% year-on-year, attributed to the rise in demand for single and sharing tub formats that offer novelty flavours and varieties, such as added protein, suppliers have told RN.

Phil Shaw, head of sales at Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats, said ice-cream tubs represent 38% of total ice-cream sales in the independent channel as more people look for treats to enjoy at home. 

Damien Kennedy, founder of protein ice-cream brand Wheyhey, said sales of its individual ice-cream tubs, with flavours such as Salted Caramel and Chocolate, grew by 10% last year, reflecting the demand for ice-cream tubs marketed towards individuals looking for added benefits.

“As summer approaches, consumers will be actively looking for ice-creams in single tub formats as an impulse purchase. Within tub formats, individual ice-creams are driving the growth at 78% year-on-year, as more shoppers look for portion sized indulgent desserts,” he said.

Alongside protein ice-creams, novelty-flavours that play on desserts are also seeing growth.

Christina Dunn, business leader at Ben & Jerry’s UK and Ireland, said: “We’ve seen an increasing innovation when it comes to birthday cakes, and boundaries have  been pushed from traditional designs. Ben & Jerry’s Birthday Cake ice-cream responds to this.”

Alex Murray, of Portsoy Ice Cream in Portsoy, said he has noticed a 50% increase in sales of salted caramel-flavoured ice-cream tubs within the last year.

“Shoppers are moving away from traditional flavours and are more keen to try something new, both in our parlour and when buying tubs. I’d advise any retailer to invest in salted caramel in particular this summer,” he said.