Chilling Success: Unilever Ice Creams Performance Analysis in the European Food Delivery Market}

Chilling Success: Unilever Ice Creams Performance Analysis in the European Food Delivery Market

Dashmote’s recent Food Delivery Insight Report Europe - H1 2023 targeting the European food and beverage brands by showcasing the latest trends on food delivery. As an extension of the ‘fastest growing branded sweets’ section of the report, this article identified the key markets of three leading ice-cream brands under the Unilever umbrella - Magnum, Coretto, and Ben & Jerry's, by analysing their penetration and growth rates across Europe.

The ice-cream market in Europe is rich in product offerings. In 2021, sales of frozen processed dairy and desserts in Europe exceeded 16 billion USD [1], with Unilever being the market leader and the largest ice cream manufacturer. While Unilever’s ice creams are largely available in retails, each of its key brands has carved out their most prevalent food delivery markets across various European countries.

The top three penetrated markets of each brand in Europe

Based on Dashmote's data analysis, Ben & Jerry's exhibits the highest level of presence among three brands. This American-born brand has made a significant impact on the European ice-cream scene with its quirky flavours and commitment to social responsibility. Ben & Jerry’s is most prevalent on food delivery platforms in Spain, boasting a noteworthy penetration rate of 19.6%. This statistic underscores the fact that nearly one in every five digital storefronts on Spanish food delivery platforms offers Ben & Jerry's products. The brand's notable penetration is also observed in Ireland at 14.1% and the Netherlands at 14.0%.

Magnum, renowned for its premium quality, made its initial foray into the European market during the late 1980s. This esteemed brand has achieved substantial penetration in its top three markets: the Netherlands at 11.5%, the United Kingdom at 7.3%, and Portugal at 5.7%.

Cornetto, another addition to the European ice cream landscape, brings the essence of Italian gelato to its offerings. However, it maintains a relatively modest penetration rate among the three prominent brands in Europe, with its primary markets being Italy at 4.1%, the United Kingdom at 3.4%, and Portugal at 2.3%.

The top 3 market seeing the biggest growths for each brand

Dashmote's food delivery report highlights the remarkable expansion of two prominent sweet brands, Magnum and Cornetto: Magnum has positioned itself as one of the fastest-growing sweet brands in Belgium. Similarly, Cornetto has emerged as one of the rapidly ascending sweet brands in Greece and Romania.

Taking a closer look at Magnum's growth trajectory, it is noteworthy that the brand experienced its most substantial surge on food delivery platforms in Portugal, registering an impressive digital storefront growth rate of 48.5% over a six-month period spanning from Q3 2022 to Q2 2023. Belgium closely follows with a significant Magnum growth rate of 45.4%, while Germany showcases a commendable growth rate of 40.7%.

Cornetto, despite its relatively modest prevalence as described in the previous section, is swiftly making strides. The brand witnessed a remarkable 176.6% growth in digital storefront listings in Denmark, coupled with a noteworthy 92.7% growth in Germany. The United Kingdom also demonstrates Cornetto's robust growth, with a substantial 69.9% increase in digital storefronts.

In contrast, Ben & Jerry's, owing to its extensive digital storefront presence, experienced more measured growth among the three brands. The top three growth markets for Ben & Jerry's are Portugal, with a growth rate of +21.8%, Austria (+13.9%), and Ireland (+13.1%).

Ben & Jerry stands out as a top franchise on food delivery in Denmark

According to Dashmote's report, it's noteworthy that Ben & Jerry's has emerged as the third most prominent franchise in Denmark. In an innovative move, the brand has adopted the concept of a ghost kitchen—an operational setup dedicated to preparing dishes exclusively for delivery. Unilever, the multinational consumer goods conglomerate, is actively expanding its virtual ice cream shop presence. To accomplish this, Unilever has entered into multiple partnerships, with the aim of proliferating its Ice Cream Shop concept across a broader array of locations.

The rationale behind this strategic move stems from logistical challenges faced by Ben & Jerry's in storing its products at local brick-and-mortar stores. In response, the global brand has adopted a ghost kitchen model, leveraging cold cabinets to ensure that its ice cream products are delivered punctually and in pristine condition through platforms like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Dashmote's data reveals that this innovative business model has yielded significant success within the food delivery market, with Ben & Jerry's Denmark serving as a prominent exemplar of this achievement.

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