Coffee sales are vital to ice cream parlour sector

The Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the UK trade body for the ice cream sector, has surveyed its members to reveal what drinks and other foods they sell apart from ice cream.

Coffee was the most important product sector. 69% of ice cream parlours sell coffee. The only other products that are nearly as important to parlours are other hot drinks – 63% sell tea and other hot beverages.

The ICA believes coffee companies (and coffee equipment companies) should be looking more closely at growing their numbers of ice cream parlour customers – as this is also a booming sector.

"According to international accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ice cream parlours is one of the few growth sectors on our struggling high streets," comments ICA CEO Zelica Carr. "They are growing by 20% per year – which means by our calculations that there are over 1,200 parlours in the UK. That's a large potential market for coffee companies."

Having analysed 67,157 premises in 500 town centres, PricewaterhouseCooper reported that ice-cream parlours, together with nail bars, bookstores, coffee shops and craft beer bars, are one of a handful of growing sectors. Overall, the high street is shrinking. For every 11 new high-street units, 16 close. Yet the number of ice-cream parlours, historically seen as a seasonal seaside concept, rose by 20% last year.
The ICA's research also revealed other important food groups sold by ice cream parlours. 61% sold confectionary, 61% sold cakes and 41% sold savoury snacks.

For any coffee businesses interested in targeting the ice cream parlour sector, there is an annual trade show, organised by the ICA, called The Ice Cream and Artisan Foods Show. It will be held in Harrogate, 11-13 February 2020.

"This is a perfect place to showcase coffee products for the ice cream parlour sector," added Carr. "A good proportion of the 1,200 parlours around the country will attend, as well as owners, managers and buyers from across the catering and food retail sectors.

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