A Battle for Flavors

Europe’s ice cream culture is a fascinating blend of tradition and innovation, spanning from Italian gelaterias to Scandinavian dessert bars.

Behind the scenes, a diverse array of production methods and flavor trends shape the continent’s frozen dessert landscape. From artisanal crafters to large-scale manufacturers, each contributes to the rich tapestry of flavors that define European ice cream. But which countries are faring best in the competitive frozen landscape?

The EU produced 3.2 billion liters of ice cream in 2022, up 5% from the year before, according to Eurostat. Germany produced 620 million liters of ice cream in 2022, more than any other EU nation. France came in second with 591 million liters and Italy third with 571 million liters.

Germany produced the cheapest ice cream on average in 2022, costing EUR1.5 per liter, in addition to being the world’s largest producer. There was a difference in the average price of EUR1.9 and EUR2.3 per liter of ice cream recorded by France and Italy, respectively.

At an average cost of EUR7.0 per liter, Austria produced the priciest ice cream, with Denmark and Finland coming in second and third, respectively, at EUR4.4 and EUR2.8 per liter. 250 million kilos (kg) of ice cream were shipped by EU nations to non-EU nations in 2022, for a total value of EUR930 million.

However, ice cream imports of 61 million kg and EUR203 million came from non-EU nations. Compared to 2021, the amount of ice cream imported from outside the EU fell by 14% in 2022, although exports fell by just 2%. In 2022, 53 million kg of ice cream were shipped from France, making up 21% of all ice cream exported outside of the EU.

As a result, it became the biggest exporter of ice cream among all EU nations, surpassing the exports of the Netherlands (42 million kg; 17% of total exports outside of the EU), Italy (31 million kg; 13%), Germany (28 million kg; 11%), and Belgium (23 million kg; 9%).

To read the entire article, please access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Europe March-April, 2024 issue here.