2012 was one of the wettest summers on record – but, as a result, this year inclusions and toppings specialist Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) has seen a significant surge in demand for its all-natural ingredients from major manufacturers of take-home tub and stick ice cream.

The Western European ice cream market was worth an estimated EUR9.96bn in 2011/12, with over half of the market share in the UK and Germany accounted for by the take-home sector, and over 70% in France. Recent poor weather has impacted on beleaguered ice cream vans, whose sales have dropped by a third in just three years, but consumers have flocked instead to the retail aisles. The UK’s luxury ice cream sector has achieved year on year growth despite the economic challenges afflicting many households.

Pecan Deluxe commercial director Graham Kingston has no doubt about the driving force behind this growth: inclusions. He explained: “The contents of supermarket freezers have changed beyond all recognition in the last few years. Despite, or perhaps because of, the need to tighten purse strings, consumers are upgrading to luxury ice cream brands to give themselves a treat. No longer is it a simple choice between choc ice, fruit cone or vanilla tub: there’s now a massive selection of luxurious and innovative flavours.”

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