Our goal with this episode is to help you identify which frozen desserts and ice creams could become the next megatrend that you start seeing on Instagram or long lines forming outside retail shops.

And I promise you’re going to learn about some up-and-coming dessert options, along with key insights and industry statistics you’ve never heard of before.

We are not talking about frozen yogurt with special toppings here. We are digging into unique trends that are only beginning to make their way to the United States from East to West and from outside the country inside. Click on the link below to navigate to content direct. This episode is brought to you by our friends at the payroll management company Gusto.

Table of Contents:

Frozen Dessert Industry Statistics

Cookie dough ice cream.

The frozen dessert market is expected to hit $228.54 billion by 2024. This growth is being driven by rising incomes globally and flavor innovation. (Mordor Intelligence)

The top channels to sell frozen desserts are grocery stores (including retail locations like Target and Wal-Mart), convenience stores, and specialty stores like ice cream or froyo shops and cafes. (Mordor Intelligence)

North America is the largest market in the world for ice cream. The United States consumes 91.6% of the overall product. (Grandview Research)

Frozen yogurt continues to be the most popular segment of frozen desserts in the United States. There are an estimated 400 brands that provide different flavors and styles of frozen yogurt to eager consumers. (Grandview Research)

The global frozen dessert market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% from 2019 – 2023. (MarketWatch)

Nestle, Unilever, and Well Enterprise are the top global companies in the frozen desserts market in terms of sales. Each of these companies continues to innovate with flavor and non-dairy / low-calorie options. (MarketWatch)

The ice cream market within the United States has over 85% household penetration. This signals a very mature industry.

The frozen dessert industry is comprised of the following sub-segments: ice cream, gelato, frozen custard, novelties, sorbet, ice pops and more. (MarketWatch)

Milwaukee is the self-proclaimed “Frozen Custard Capital of the World.” It’s widely reported that Milwaukee has the highest percentage frozen custard shops per capita anywhere in the world. (Chicago Tribune)

Frozen custard has a gross margin of approximately 80%. Growing restaurant chains like Culver’s uses frozen custard vs ice cream as a major product differentiator. (Forbes)

Culver’s sells 59 different flavors of frozen custards. A different flavor is featured on their billboards each day and rotates throughout the year. Chocolate and vanilla can be purchased at all times. (Culver’s)

A cookie dough ice cream trailer.

The top five ice cream flavors in the United States is vanilla, chocolate, Cookies N’ Cream, mint chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough. (IDFA)

The average citizen in the United States eats an astounding 23 pounds of ice cream per year. (IDFA)

The top selling ice cream novelty product in the United States are sandwiches, mini cups, ice pops, cones, and bars. (IDFA)

Halo Top, a company that specializes in low-calorie and high-protein ice cream completed an estimated $351 million dollars in sales in 2017 alone. This number is expected to have continued to grow in recent years. (USA Today)

Halo Top is also the best selling ice cream by the pint in U.S. grocery stores. (Food & Wine)

Private label products account for nearly 20% of all frozen dessert sales. (Mavrck)

45% of global consumers attempt to avoid frozen desserts that contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. This is part of a larger trend of consumers being more conscious about the food they eat. (GNT Group)

One in every five consumers want easy to understand ingredient and nutrition facts on clearly displayed on their packaging. (Nielsen)

Yasso is a novelty dessert brand that is now one of the top 15 growing brands in the United States and will hit $100 in revenue before the end of this year. Yasso utilizes Greek-yogurt that is also protein rich as an ingredient differentiator. (PRNewsWire)

The frozen dessert industry is embracing new forms like marketing like influencer marketing. Breyer’s was a category leader in terms of engagement using this form of marketing. (Mavrck)

Ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing is a top job producing industry in Wisconsin. This industry adds all sorts of jobs to the economy including truck drivers and manufacturing roles. (The MPI Group)

Unilever is an ice cream behemoth and owns 8 of the 15 top selling ice cream brands, including Magnum, Ben & Jerry’s and Cornetto. The company holds about 22% of global market share. (Forbes)

Häagen-Dazs (whose parent company is now General Mills) is credited with creating the premium ice cream category back in the 1960s. (Wikipedia)

Ice cream makers have had to rethink their brands to stay relevant with millennial consumers. In recent years brands like Häagen-Dazs have focused marketing efforts around highlighting the ingredients and care for producing the product. (Business Insider)

Breyer’s sells over $500 million worth of ice cream each year. They are the number one ice cream brand in terms of global sales behind private label. (Statistica)

Ice cream is one of the most lucrative products in the food industry from a cost standpoint. Profit margins can be more than 20% higher than other snack foods like chips or candy. (IBISWorld)

According to a 2016 industry survey of 3,000 adult Americans, 28.3% of men and 26.9% of women stated their favorite brand was Ben & Jerry’s. (Statistica)

The frozen yogurt or froyo market peaked in 2013 in the United States. Consumption has declined annually in recent years. (Euromonitor)

Skinny Cow is the tenth leading novelty ice cream brand in the United States with sales of over $18 million annually. (Statistica)

The Japanese dessert Mochi ice cream is the fastest growing categories in the ice cream market as of 2018. You can find the product just about anywhere ice cream is sold including Walmart and Target. (Food Dive)

Inside a frozen yogurt shop.

The ice cream industry is becoming more fragmented with new competitors and innovators entering the market. The ice cream giant Unilever posted lower than expected growth in 2019 due in part to this competition. (WSJ)

In a recent industry survey, three out of every four consumers preferred eating premium ice cream versus low cost.

The ice cream industry created more than 188,000 jobs annually. (IDFA)

The most popular nut topping to put on ice cream is the pecan. Strawberry is the most popular fruit topping. (IDFA)

The most popular topping for ice cream in the world is chocolate syrup. (IceCream.com)

87% of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time. (IceCream.com)

The State of California produces the most ice cream of any state in the United States. (California Dairy)

The biggest ice cream sundae on record was assembled in 1985 in Anaheim, California. It used 4,667 gallons of ice cream and was 12 feet tall. We can only guess how long it took to melt. (California Dairy)

In 1984, President Ronald Regan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday of each July is national Ice Cream Day. This is a holiday both sides of the aisle can celebrate! (Wikipedia)

It takes about 3 gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.

Novelty ice cream is also sold through vending machines and contributes to the $8 billion dollar per year industry. This is a declining industry. (IBISWorld)

About 9% of all milk produced in the United States is used to make ice cream. (IceCream.com)

The average cow can produce enough milk to make 2 gallons of ice cream per day. Keep those cows happy!

People over the age of 55 eat the most ice cream annually. If you’re over 55, you likely enjoy ice cream 56 times a year. (The Christian Science Monitor)

New Zealand eats the most ice cream per capita of any nation in the world. The United States come in at number two per capita for consumption.

U.S. domestic consumption of sherbet is 262 million pounds annually. (Statistica)

Key Consumer Trends and Analysis