Fresh cream enjoys volume and value growth

Monday, 10 May 2021

Fresh cream was the fastest growing dairy category in the year ending 24 Jan 2021. Enjoying year-on-year growth of 24% in terms of both retail volume and retail spend, as consumers scratch cooked and baked more (Kantar, 52 w/e 24 Jan 2021).  

How has cream performed?

In the year ending 24 Jan 2021, total cream retail sales were up £96m, at £490m (Kantar, 52 w/e 24 Jan 2021). Double cream, which holds the largest volume share within the total cream market, grew at the same rate as total cream, up 24%.

Clotted, soured, aerosol and synthetic cream outperformed total cream as retail volumes grew by over 30% year-on-year. Clotted cream had an exceptional year with retail volumes up 38.3% on the previous year (Kantar 52 w/e 24 Jan 2021).


Cream usage

Over half (57%) of cream occasions are consumed as a compliment to a meal and cream is three times more likely to be eaten for this reason than total food so encouraging this is key. Furthermore, Kantar data shows that 60% of total cream occasions are consumed at the evening meal, this could be within a savoury dish or as a pudding accompaniment (Kantar, 52 w/e 21 Feb 2021).

In the year ending 21 Feb 2021, there were 828m cream consumption occasions, that is an extra 182m occasions compared to 2020. Double cream accounted for almost half of total cream occasions in 2021, reflecting the product’s taste and ability to complement puddings (Kantar, 52 w/e 21 Feb 2021).

Retail volume and spend of total cream follow a clear annual trend, with both volume and spend growing significantly around Christmas. In addition, a low peak appears in both retail volume and spend throughout the summer months (Kantar, rolling 12 w/e data to 24 Jan 2021). This highlights the seasonality of cream, and the classic pairing with British summer fruits, such as strawberries, with sales peaking between June and August.

In March 2020, as the UK entered the first national lockdown, a retail spike similar to those seen at Christmas was seen, and later replicated between April and August 2020 as consumers scratch cooked and baked more.


Opportunities for the future

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and governmental restrictions, consumers have treated themselves to more indulgent foods, benefitting the retail sale of cream. This presents future opportunities as we anticipate that more people will continue to work from home, at least for part of the time. The key opportunities to promote cream consumption going forward are:

  • Encourage cream for use in scratch cooking, savoury dishes, and puddings by expanding consumer repertoires. Recipe inspiration is key here.
  • Utilise the link with British seasonal produce such as strawberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, and other soft fruits, which are natural partners for cream.
  • Although health took a backseat in 2020, we expect it to return to growth for 2021, so messages around naturalness are key.
  • Cream performs well in relation to key seasonal events such as Christmas and Easter. Therefore, encouraging cream consumption at more seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s or Father’s Day would benefit the category.