Unilever outlines a 3-prong plan to capture market share in the growing ice cream segment

Growing at a compound annual rate of 2.6% between 2019 and 2021 and seizing approximately 20% share of the ice cream market in the period “despite the ravages of COVID,” ​Unilever’s €7 billion ice cream business already holds a significant lead over its next closest competitor, which has 10% of market share, Matt Close, president of Unilever’s ice cream division, touted during the company’s recent investor day.

He added that the company intends to significantly expand that lead in the coming years by growing competitively ahead of the market, which Euromonitor predicts will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4% through 2025 – faster than the 3% growth rate it saw between 2019 and 2021.

“We’re well positioned to grow based on the latest consumer trends we see,”Close said. “Consumers expect ice cream to taste great, they’re looking for indulgent experiences, they’re looking for products that transform their mood. And now, whatever the occasion – be it outdoors in the afternoon, whether it’s sharing a moment with friends at home – we have brands that can really deliver against those trends.”

Unilever also is well positioned to deliver against increased demand for products that are healthier for people and the planet thanks to innovations that are plant-based, low-carb and low-sugar, Close said.

As the economy continues to tighten and consumers increasingly seek products with a strong value proposition, Close noted that the company’s ice cream portfolio can deliver even in a recession by offering “accessible, affordable treats that will lift their mood”and “take them out of the difficult situations they find themselves in.”

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