100 million Euro, melted into ice-cream. The predictions for the ice-cream market in Romania are to reach 100 million Euro
Romanian consumers are starting to enjoy more and more ice-cream, a market with record sales during the high temperature summer days. Producers and ice-cream vendors are estimating an increase in sales of about 40%. Even though doctors dont recommend excessive ice-cream consumption, due to the high sugar content of the product, leading to dehydration of the body in the summer season, Romanians are still eating more and more ice-cream.
Sales increase is encouraged by the good whether conditions, by the reorientation of the individual consumer towards ice-cream as a desert, but also by the increase of the number of points of sale.
For 2006, Romanian ice-cream producers are estimating that the market will settle to a cash-flow somewhere between 70 and 100 million Euro. As a comparison, in 2004, the Romanian ice-cream market was estimated to an approximate of 35 million Euro, and last year it increased of about 35 percent.
Sales boom during the summer months
For the summers season the sales are four times bigger compared to the rest of the year, and if good whether is present, the month of May is the best month of the year for ice-cream sales. In general, over 50% of the annual ice-cream sale is made during the months of May, June and July. During July 2006, producers have sold 50% more ice-cream compared to the same month of last year. Also hypermarkets have increased ice-cream sales by 35% during the hot summer months.
At the same time, producers are noticing that ice-cream has started being consumed more and more also during the cold period of the year. These sales are being increased by the hypermarkets and supermarkets that play a major role in changing the consumption habits of Romanian consumers.
A Romanian eats about 1 kg of ice-cream per year, compared to an American who eats 20 times more
The statistics say that a Romanian eats about 1,1 kg of ice-cream per year, an increasing figure compared to last year when the consumption was around 0,6 kg/year. In spite of this increase, consumption remains still very low compared to other European countries. A Romanian eats 3-8 times less ice-cream compared to a Polish or a Hungarian consumer and almost 20 times less than an Italian or American one. Hungary or Czech Republic have an average individual ice-cream consumption of over 3 kg/year, Poland of 4 kg/year, Italy of 17 kg/year, Belgium of 15,5 kg/year and Sweden of 13 kg/year. The champions of ice-cream eating are the Americans by over 27 kg/year. Being a seasonal product, sales increase during the summer when 90% of the urban population is eating ice-cream. The percentage decreases dramatically during the winter season to about 42%. The climax of the sales is being reached during the summer months, when 10% of studied population claimed to be consuming ice-cream on a daily bases. Grocery stores are the main places to by an ice-cream from in 57,2% of the studied cases, following supermarkets with 27,2% and small stores with 26,9%.
Youngsters between the age of 18 and 30 prefer bars and gardens that offer scoop ice-cream. The study conducted by Daedalus Consulting, shows that the most saleable ice-cream packaging are bulks (37,9%), cones (31,5%) and stick (27,4%) ice-cream. Ice-cream cakes are preferred mainly by women, university degree consumers and big city inhabitants.
Romanian consumers taste is getting more and more cultivated. The fashion is for "special" products at normal prices, and the demand is for large assortment that attract by packaging and content.
In the top still remain the traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavour. There is also a steady increase of the premium ice-cream products, proving that Romanian consumers get more and more interested by this class of high quality products.
For those who prefer the taste and are not afraid of getting fat, the best ice-cream is the one made of animal fat (milk, cream or powder milk). That is because of the fat inside the milk that gives the ice-cream a soft taste, and positively influences the consistency and structure of the ice-cream.
Ice-cream with less fat (under 5%) looses its most important characteristic, that of being tender and creamy. Ice-cream with too much fat (over 20%) looses its refreshing characteristic.
Sources: Curierul National - 5 August 2006 Bloombiz - 9 September 2006