Peak ice-cream: Christmas run-up tops consumption

December may not be Australia’s hottest month, but it’s the month when Aussies eat most ice-cream, according to new research.

Payments company Square has released 2018 ice-cream sales data, analysing Australia’s consumption habits of the cold stuff. Square says it derived its data from thousands of transactions from hundreds of Square vendors across the country.

So what does the data tell us?

A creamy Christmas

According to Square, ice-cream purchases in 2018 enjoyed their biggest spike from November to December. In fact, sales in the build-up to Christmas rose by as much as 70 per cent compared with the average month.

Sales remained strong during the January summer holidays, Square says. But they then dropped off to only 25 per cent above the average monthly spend.

Surprisingly, February sales fell completely flat, despite the fact that February tends to be Australia’s hottest month.

Nevertheless, the peak hours for eating ice-cream fell during traditional times – afternoon and evening. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of all sales took place between 2pm and 4pm, and between 8pm and 10pm, Square says.

Queensland – king cone?

The data also show that consumer demand and price sensitivity vary by state.

Customers in Queensland pay the most for ice-cream – almost $1.50 more for a scoop compared with those in WA and Tasmania. In fact, per scoop, ice-cream is cheaper in Tasmania than anywhere else in Australia.

Cost of a scoop of ice-cream by state:

  1. Queensland, $5.45
  2. ACT/Northern Territory, $5
  3. South Australia, $4.95
  4. Victoria, $4.70
  5. NSW, $4.15
  6. WA, $4.05
  7. Tasmania $4.

A cocktail of flavours

Last year was a year of “exotic tastes”, says Square. Flavours such as pandan, yuzu and durian made their way onto menus across the country in 2018.

The “it” cocktail flavour of 2018 – Aperol – also found its way into frozen treats. It was joined by other unconventional flavours such as lavender, rose, black sesame and ginger.

Diet-friendly delights

Vendors added diet-friendly options in 2018, according to Square. Notably, raw and vegan ice cream, usually made with a fruit base instead of dairy, were an increasingly popular option.

Likewise, ever-popular superfoods – matcha, green tea and ginger – were popular options for the health conscious.

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