It may be hard and yes, a bit tragic to believe, but global sales of ice cream are down. According to a new report from Mintel, a market research firm based in London, global ice cream sales are in decline, and dropped significantly between 2015 and 2016. Specifically, the world ate 686,847,336 fewer gallons of ice cream in 2016 compared to the previous year (4,121,084,016 were noshed in 2015, while 3,434,236,680 were consumed in 2016, that’s a 16.7 percent decrease!). So what’s going on? Do people just like ice cream less now? Is the unthinkable happening right before our eyes?
Interestingly, no. The global desire for ice cream has not dropped, and in fact is on the rise in some heavily populated nations. Specifically, the Guardian reports that India and China saw an increase in ice cream demand in 2015. In other countries, it’s not so much that the taste for ice cream has dwindled so much as the type of ice cream people are into nowadays is changing significantly (and often more expensive).
The Guardian notes that in recent years, people in fully industrialized nations are becoming more aware of and concerned about their sugar intake, which has led to cutting down on some treats like ice cream. Additionally, fancy frozen yogurts, sugar-free ice creams, and frozen treats made from dairy alternatives like nut milks are growing in popularity. Gourmet ice cream products like gelato and a growing variety of creative flavors (such as cold press soft serve) are a hit, but these types of ice cream tend to be expensive, and therefore aren’t purchased in the same quantities as more traditional ice creams.
Overall, many ice cream-consuming nations are opting for different kinds of ice cream in overall lower quantities, but there’s no need to worry the fate of arguably the best dessert. You won’t see ice cream disappearing from grocery stores or menus anytime soon, but you may notice you’re not indulging in ice cream quite as much as before.