BUSINESS + ECONOMY

The world’s biggest ice cream company says heat waves may not help sales

Jul 26, 2023, 6:00 AM | Updated: 9:06 am

Unilever makes Magnum and Cornetto ice creams. Photo credit: Michael Cockerham/Unilever...

Unilever makes Magnum and Cornetto ice creams. Photo credit: Michael Cockerham/Unilever

London (CNN) — Can it ever be too hot for ice cream? According to Unilever, yes.

The maker of Magnum and Cornetto said Tuesday that the heat wave currently searing Europe could actually put consumers off the frozen dessert.

When it comes to the weather, “there’s a sweet spot for temperature,” Unilever’s chief financial officer, Graeme Pitkethly, told journalists. “When it gets too hot, people move away from ice cream and buy a cold drink instead,” he said.

Unilever (UL), which also owns Ben & Jerry’s, saw a strong pickup in its out-of-home sales in Europe, which include those to restaurants and catering companies, after a cold snap in April and May gave way to warmer weather in June.

But temperatures have soared over the past few weeks, breaking local records in parts of Spain and Italy and contributing to raging wildfires in Greece. Health officials have urged residents and tourists visiting southern Europe to drink plenty of water and stay indoors.

Unilever, which sells tubs of Carte d’Or and Breyers, said sales of in-home brands of ice cream were muted in the first six months of the year as consumers, squeezed by inflation, cut back on non-essential spending. The consumer goods giant commands a fifth of global ice cream sales, according to Euromonitor.

The company’s overall ice cream sales grew 5.7% in the first half of the year in value terms, compared with the same period in 2022. Sales growth was driven by a sharp increase in prices even as volumes dipped.

Price rises across Unilever’s products helped push up its sales by 9.1% in the first half, even though volumes fell marginally. The company, which also makes Dove soap and Domestos bleach, said price increases would “moderate” throughout the year as inflation in its input costs eased.

Speaking to analysts, CEO Hein Schumacher cautioned, however, that volatility in agricultural commodity markets — including the impact of the Ukraine war on wheat prices and the effects of drought in southern Europe — could still drive food prices higher.

Shares in the company climbed 5%, after it raised its forecast for revenue growth for the year to more than 5%.

Schumacher — who joined Unilever on July 1 from Dutch dairy company Royal FrieslandCampina — told journalists that there was an opportunity to “step up performance” and “realize Unilever’s potential.” He will set out his plans for the business when the company reports third-quarter earnings in October.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Utah gas prices are currently be...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Utah gas prices below national average in time for summer season

Utah gas prices are below the national average price for gas and the prices are expected to stay that way over the summer.

1 day ago

Image of Temple Mountain found on BLM land within Emery County, Utah. (Mike Coronella)...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah files lawsuit over BLM Public Lands Rule

In the lawsuit, Utah accuses the BLM of taking a "museum-like" approach to the state's public lands.

2 days ago

Pioneer Stadium in Ogden is getting a $4.3 million upgrade, expected to be complete in time for the...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Ogden’s Pioneer Stadium – site of a major annual rodeo – getting $4.3M upgrade, new name

The upgrade to Ogden's Pioneer Stadium includes additional seats and new equipment for rodeo participants.

3 days ago

Quishing...

Josuee Sanchez

Beware of “quishing” or QR code phishing says Better Business Bureau

Scammers are using "sqishing" or QR phishing to con people into giving personal their personal information.

3 days ago

The front of the Holladay Lions salt lake county recreation center...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

The hidden cost of recreation centers

A new report shows that several recreation centers in Utah operate at a deficit in the millions. Part of covering that gap comes via taxes.

4 days ago

The Utah Women & Leadership Project, based out of Utah State University in Logan, Utah, reports tha...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Report finds fewer Utah workers experiencing sexual harassment

For the first time in years, the number of sexual harassment reports filed with the EEOC places Utah in line with the national average.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

The world’s biggest ice cream company says heat waves may not help sales