The ice-cream market in Romania

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Domeniu: Marketing


1. Introduction 3
2. Market capacity 3
3. Market evolution 4
4. Market structure 5
5. Product supply 6
6. Imports and exports 8
7. Prices and tariffs 8
8. Conclusions 9

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1. Introduction

In its most basic form, ice-cream is a mixture of cream and/or milk, sugar and sometimes eggs that is frozen while being churned to create a frozen product. In commercial ice-cream making, stabilizers, such as plant gums, are usually added and the mixture is pasteurized and homogenized. The mixture may have flavourings added, from something as simple as vanilla to fruit or other flavours and pieces of candy.

The ice-cream market in Romania is quite small due to low consumption and high seasonality. Ice-cream is still perceived as refreshing and not as dessert. As a result, the market is dominated by medium and low-end products.

2. Market capacity

Potential customers are people of all ages, especially children and people with normal wages. Families with children, teenagers, and adults all love to consume this frozen dessert. Young children also consume a wider selection of ice-cream flavours and other frozen desserts. Adults tend to remain faithful to their favorite ice-cream products. If a child loves this frozen dessert, he or she will most likely still love ice-cream as an adult. As the youth population ispredicted to be declining over the next seven years, catering to the adult segment is more important than ever.

Most adults prefer the same few flavors that they have been eating their entire lives. These people believe that the extensive variety of ice-cream flavors available today appeals to children, not adults.

Currently, the annual ice-cream consumption in Romania is one of the lowest in Europe, i.e. 1.6 kg per capita. While ice-cream sales are largely dependent on outside temperatures, it has been found that 70% of Romanians have eatenice-cream at least once per month, according to Reveal Marketing Research.

In 2016 the sales volume for ice-cream sold was estimated at 43 million liters and the sales value was approximately 916 million lei,which represents 1.4% of the total quantity of ice-cream produced in the EU, making Romania one of the top 10 biggest ice-cream producers in Europe. It is estimated that in 2021 it will reach 53.4 million liters, registering a growth of 24%.

Ice-cream will remain profoundly affected by weather development, although recent increases in consumption outside of the summer season and a shift in perception, from refresher to dessert, will partially mitigate this. Premiumisation and sophistication are going to accelerate, as private label monopolises price as the main selling point. Now that the partnership between Alpin 57 Lux SRL and the Latvian investment fund Food Union has been established, new consolidations and developments are likely, with Betty Ice’s owner hinting at this in early June 2017.

3. Market evolution

If in 2012 the ice-cream market amounted to 911.7 million lei, the years 2013 and 2014 were marked by decreases by up to 13%, reaching a value of only 796.2 million lei. However, starting with 2015, sales have started growing once again; a trend that will continue in the next five years, when the market will exceed 1 billion lei, according to Euromonitor estimates.

Additionally, the volume of the ice-cream market has registered fluctuations throughout the years:in 2012 it was rated at 42.8 million liters, and in the following year it decreased by 8.6%. But starting with 2014, the values have begun to increase. As mentioned before, in 2016 the amount of ice-cream sold wass estimated at 43 million liters, and in 2021 it will reach 53.4 million liters.

The average variation rhythm of sales during 2012-2016 is the following:

= 0,099

Yn - sales volume in 2016

Y1 - sales volume in 2012

One step towardsdevelopment on the ice-cream market in Romania is that the Romanian producer Betty Ice, owned by VasileArmenean, has reached a sales deal with the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever, the second largest player in the food industry and the current ice-cream market leader in Romania.

With 21% of value sales, Unilever South Central Europe SRL remained category leader in 2017, followed closely by Betty Ice SRL and Nestlé Romania SRL, with 20% and 18% of shares, respectively. Unilever overall performance owed much to new launches, for example Magnum Double, its premium brand, but also to tub-packaged ice-cream, Magnum Classic, Almond and White. New versions of Cornetto and Carte d’Or were launched too, all of which received heavy advertising online and on TV and aided in the company’s performance.

The Romanianice-cream market is estimated to register higher growth in off-trade sales than on-trade sales during 2015-2020. The 'Impulse Ice-cream-Single Serve' category is the largest in the off-trade volume consumption, while Artisanal Ice-cream leads the on-trade consumption. The 'Impulse Ice-cream-Single Serve' is forecast to register the fastest growth in both on-trade and off-trade consumption during this period. On-trade sales lead the overall distribution of ice-cream in the country.

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