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Tubs of joy: Australians still love ice cream

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012–June 2013 (n=20,267) and July 2013–June 2014 (n=16,809). Thumbnail image: copyright Joy (Flickr Creative Commons)

Depending which history you read, ice cream has been around since the days of ancient Persia, Alexander the Great or Emperor Nero at least. Its famous fans over the centuries have included Marco Polo and Thomas Jefferson; and, despite some ups and downs in recent years, it remains a staple on many Australian grocery lists. In fact, 73% of Aussie grocery buyers purchased a tub or carton of ice cream at least once in the last 12 months.

While the proportion of grocery buyers who purchase ice cream tubs/cartons on a weekly basis is relatively low (3%), almost one in five (19%) people buy them once a month and 21% buy them every two to three months. 

Bulla is the most popular ice cream brand, purchased by 20% of grocery buyers in an average four weeks. Peters, the market leader as recently as 2011, is in second place (17%); ahead of Streets (12%). Coles (6%) is the most popular of the supermarket brands.

Australians’ ice cream buying habits: 2013 vs 2014

ice-cream-brands

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2012–June 2013 (n=20,267) and July 2013–June 2014 (n=16,809)

As the chart above indicates, the proportions of grocery buyers purchasing the big ice cream brands in an average four-week period have remained fairly stable since the same time last year.

However, Streets (12%, up from 10%) and Connoisseur (6%, up from 4%) made noticeable gains: Streets with its famous Blue Ribbon tubs, and Connoisseur with a suite of exotic flavours that could make a statue swoon.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“After four years of decline, the Australian ice cream market has stabilised, with the proportion of grocery buyers purchasing tubs/cartons last year creeping up from 72% to 73%.

“Amid this relatively static market, Connoisseur and Streets ice cream showed the most growth. So who is buying these brands? Using Roy Morgan Research’s in-depth consumer profiling tool, Helix Personas, we see that New School Cool individuals are a whopping 160% more likely than the average Australian to buy Connoisseur ice cream in an average four weeks. This high-earning, high-living group enjoys the finer things in life, and Connoisseur’s exotic flavours and premium ingredients would certainly appeal to their gourmet sensibilities.

“Streets, meanwhile, is especially popular among people from the even more affluent Bluechip persona. Individuals from this group are typically a little older than New School Cool, and know exactly what they like – from wine to cars to ice cream…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2