In 2011, around 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in US. In 2010, the ice cream industry in US generated total revenue of $10 billion. During that period take-away home ice cream sales represented the largest segment in the market, generating revenue worth $6.8 billion which was 67.7% of the overall market value. In 2010, US dairy industry produced around 20 quarts per capita.
The US ice cream market is mature and highly competitive. In 2012, Unilever and Nestle dominated the market with market share of 19% and 24% respectively. In 2012, at the retail level, the top 12 marketers accounted for 70% of all sales. 22% of the market share is occupied by the private labels in retailing, leaving only 8% for all other marketers.
Ice cream manufacturers are generally located near large population states with warm weather. Majority of the industry’s production facilities are located in the western region of US and accounts for 24.3% of establishments. California accounts for 17.3% of establishments. The region dominates mainly because it is the country’s largest milk producer. Even the country’s leading company Nestle is located in Glendale, California.
Former American president Ronald Reagan recognized ice cream as a nutritious and fun food, enjoyed by 90% of the nation’s population. The IICA (International Ice Cream Association) encourages consumers and retailers to celebrate July as national ice cream month.
The ice cream market did not suffer much during the economic recession and continued to perform well even in those hard times. However, the emergence of frozen yogurts and healthy ice cream substitutes has challenged the ice cream industry. Americans have been moving away from ice creams and are looking for healthier options. This is having a negative impact on the industry.