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The heat is on—but Ice Cream’s popularity is melting

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2008 – September 2013, average annual n = 19,469.

Australians are becoming less tempted by tubs and cartons of ice cream. In 2009, 76% of grocery buyers put ice cream in the trolley at least once in the past 12 months; after four consecutive years of decline, it’s now 72%. But to better understand the source of the decline, we need to look at who buys ice cream, and how often. 

Just 3% of grocery buyers buy ice cream tubs at least weekly—a rate consistent over the last five years. The proportion buying ice cream only every 4-6 months is also steady, at 10%.   

Instead, all the decline stems from fewer people buying ice cream fortnightly (down 2% points), monthly (down 2%) or every 2-3 months (down 1% point).

The rate of purchasing increased only for the least habitual buyers: the proportion of grocery shoppers who buy a tub less often than every six months has risen gradually from 8% since 2009, and is now 9%.

Frequency of buying Ice Cream in tubs or cartons

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2008 – September 2013, average annual n = 19,469.

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Despite having a broader choice of flavours and healthier, ‘reduced fat’ product options available, Australian grocery shoppers are less inclined to buy ice cream.

“However, the decline is not uniform across the population. Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist marketers to pinpoint those Australians who are most likely to regularly buy ice cream. 

“For instance, Australians in the ‘Career and Kids’ persona are over twice as likely as average to buy ice cream tubs or cartons weekly. These people are typically well educated, younger families working full time and paying off their suburban homes—but they’re also worried about their finances and mortgages, paying for their kids’ private schooling and keeping up with the Joneses.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager, Consumer Products
Telephone: +61 (2) 9261 8233

Related Research

Click here to learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to access an extensive range of Food Reports, including our Ice Cream Buyers Profile.  The profiles provide an overview of the target group including information on their demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%