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Fewer grocery buyers buy tubs of ice cream, but Weis, Connoisseur and Bulla Creamy Classics are stable winners

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=7,269) and April 2018 – March 2019 (n= 3,053).
Base: Australians 14+ who “bought ice cream tubs or cartons in the last 4 weeks”.
For almost 10 million grocery buyers, at least one tub of ice cream is part of their shop – that’s a lot of grocery buyers and a lot of ice cream.

But it’s less than it was only four years ago possibly reflecting the rise of alternatives like yoghurt (our recent yoghurt release showed an increase in Australians buying natural/plain yoghurt) and changing social norms around food. Whether you eat ice cream yourself or buy it for others, your choices say something about you. New research from Roy Morgan shows that the number of Australians buying a tub or carton of ice cream has decreased from 10.5 million in 2015 to 9.9 million in 2019. 

Despite the overall decline there were a few stand-out brands that increased their customer base over the last four years – Connoisseur, Weis and Bulla Creamy Classics although the overall market share of Bulla has declined.

Connoisseur, Weis and Bulla Creamy Classics ice creams defy market trends

Connoisseur is growing in popularity and is now bought by 14.7% of ice cream buyers up from 11.2% in 2015. Weis ice cream buying has almost doubled and increased 1.7ppts over the same time from 2.4% to now 4.1% of ice cream buyers in 2019.

Bulla Creamy Classics is the best performer amongst the Bulla stable of brands and increased their percentage of ice cream buyers to a four year high of 16.6%, from 12.5% in 2015. However, although Bulla Creamy Classics has had a good four years, overall Bulla has dropped from being bought by 32.2% of ice cream buyers in 2015 to 30.9% today.

Still Bulla is clearly the most popular ice cream brand in the marketplace ahead of supermarket brands bought by 26.2% of ice cream buyers and Peters bought by 21.2%.

Leading brands of ice cream bought by Australian ice cream buyers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=7,269) and April 2018 – March 2019 (n= 3,053). Base: Australians 14+ who “bought ice cream tubs or cartons in the last 4 weeks”.

Premium ice creams a staple amongst mid-life family women

Although ice cream in general has seen a decline in buyers over 4 years, the buying of Connoisseur, Bulla Creamy Classics and Weis is increasing as they seem to fill a distinctive need in the homes of the most common buyer – women aged 35 years and over.

Different brands of ice creams appeal to a diverse range of buyers, and from analysing Roy Morgan’s ice cream buying profiles, unique qualities of a typical buyer of Connoisseur, Bulla Creamy Classics and Weis ice creams are revealed.

Connoisseur buyers tend to be well off and enjoy holding a good dinner party

A pen-portrait of a quintessential Connoisseur buyer is a well-educated woman with a diploma or degree, works full-time and well off in the AB socio-economic quintile, earning a household income well in excess of $100,000. She is a far more likely than the average Australian to be a big spender and more likely to ‘buy a product because of the label’.

She fits into the Socially Aware Roy Morgan Value Segment and is much more likely than the average Australian to hold a dinner party. She agrees that people often ‘compliment her on her cooking’ and she ‘likes to entertain spontaneously’, ‘drink wine with her meals’ and ‘loves to cook’ more so than the average Australian. When it comes to sports she’s more likely than the average Australian to go hiking/bush-walking and do Pilates and enjoy watching the cricket and tennis on TV.

Bulla Creamy Classics buyers are family focused middle Australia

The Bulla Creamy Classics buyer is typically a woman, aged 35+ years old and part of Generation X (1961-1975). Probably working full-time earning a personal income greater than $80,000 she is family focused and likely to be in the Traditional Family Life or Conventional Family Life Roy Morgan Value Segments – married with school children and house proud.

More than the average Australian a Bulla Creamy Classics woman believes ‘taste is more important than ingredients’, but ‘won’t buy genetically modified food if she can help it’. She ‘enjoys buying magazines’ – 27% more than the average Australian, and thinks they’re a ‘good way to unwind and relax’. She is far more likely than the average Australian to have read a local/community newspaper in the last 7 days. She also enjoys watching the AFL and cricket on TV.

Weis buyers are health conscious but don’t want to compromise on taste

The Weis woman – likely born into Generation Y (1976-1990), she probably has a diploma or degree and now works full-time as a white collar worker. She is more likely to be a big spender, in the upper AB socio-economic quintile and is married with young children. Two-thirds of Weis buyers are from New South Wales or Queensland way above State’s population.

She belongs to the Visible Achievement Roy Morgan Value Segment and is more likely than the average Australian to believe ‘you can tell a type of person by the type of car they drive’. Health is important to her, as 78% of Weis buyers agree they are ‘feeling well and in good health’ and 84% ‘like to eat healthily but don’t want to compromise on taste’ and she’s more likely to agree that ‘a low fat diet is a way of life for me’.

She agrees that ‘people often compliment her on her cooking’ and was ‘born to shop’ and she’s far more likely than the average Australian to ‘notice advertisements on the tops and backs of taxis’.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says:

“The number of Australian’s buying ice cream has declined in recent years falling from 10.5 million in 2015 to under 9.9 million today. The growth in population during this period amplifies this trend as the percentage of Australian ice cream buyers has dropped from 76.4% in 2015 to only 64.3% in 2019, a fall of 12.1ppts.

“This decline has been widespread across the many brands tracked by Roy Morgan however there are some noteworthy exceptions which have managed to grow their market over the last few years led by Connoisseur and including Weis and Bulla Creamy Classics.

“The typical ice cream buyer these brands are successfully appealing to tends to be female, aged 35 years and older and come from mid-life households. The three brands have shown that having a unique identity and fulfilling a purpose in the buyers’ life makes all the difference.

“These insights allow a glimpse into the broad range of data available via Roy Morgan’s food and brand profiles for ice cream and any other consumer product you might be interested in learning more about.

“Understanding why Australians are buying ice cream is pivotal for other brands looking to differentiate themselves, and capture their own niche in the lives of Australian ice cream buyers.

“Contact Roy Morgan to learn more about who is buying the different types of ice cream, or what type of Australian is buying leading brands such as Streets, Peters, Supermarket brands and many others.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com


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%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

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