Food PR expert shares story of Mackie's ice cream's increased popularity throughout winter months

by Chris Fairbairn

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

HUNGRY Scots are braving a chill as they now buy almost as much ice cream during the coldest months as the summer, industry figures have revealed.

October to March sales at Mackie’s of Scotland accounted for 47% of its total ice cream sales in the most recent full year– with revenues in those six months also up 8% year on year.

Marking the highest proportion of ‘winter’ sales the firm has ever recorded, Mackie’s data corresponds with wider Mintel market research that shows that more than 40 per cent of Scots now eat ice cream ‘at least two to three times per month’ in autumn and winter.

In a separate poll conducted by the firm, of 4,615 respondents a staggering 57 per cent confirmed that they eat the ‘same amount of ice cream all year round’.

Stuart Common, Commercial Director at Mackie’s, said: “It’s interesting to see the gap closing to such an extent, between sales at different times of the year, as it suggests a tangible shift in consumer habits.

“What it does tell us is that attitudes towards the way people enjoy ice cream are changing – something we’ve seen building for some time – and this goes beyond having milder winters.

“We’re finding that consumers are increasingly looking to alternatives to the traditional flavours – and are more inclined to try adventurous combinations that make ice cream a dessert in itself.”

Mackie’s has played its part in driving what might have previously been called ‘off-season’, sales with more wintery flavours – including last year’s limited edition chocolate orange; inspired by the festive confectionary favourite.

It has also recently launched a limited edition ‘St Clements Ripple’ flavour, made with Brazilian orange and Sicilian lemon – again in response to an increased willingness from the public to treat ice cream as a seasonal standalone dessert.

Mackie’s of Scotland produces milk and cream used to make its famous ice cream. In keeping with its ‘sky to scoop’ philosophy, the Aberdeenshire firm also produces everything from renewable energy to its own packaging.

Firmly established as one of the UK’s most popular take-home ice creams, Mackie’s diversified into making crisps in 2009.

Adding a dedicated £600,000 chocolate factory to its Aberdeenshire home farm in 2014, Mackie’s has since achieved substantial new contracts for its chocolate, including initial deals with Tesco and Sainsbury’s, with new domestic contracts including the Co-op coming on board in 2016.

Figures are for Jan ’16-Mar 16 and Oct ’16-Dec ‘16

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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