Everything You Need to Know About Starting an Ice Cream Business in the UK

A recent survey found that 7 in 10 Brits would say ice cream is their favourite dessert

NOT much beats a sweet ice cream treat on a hot summer’s day – and we’re here to say it, it’s nice on a cold winter’s day too!

Synonymous with holidays on the beach, ice cream is enjoyed all year round. Whether it’s a traditional whippy or a gourmet variety found in supermarkets, Brits will always warm to the frozen treat.

If you’ve got a passion for gelato, you might be able to turn it into a profitable business. But there’s a lot to consider beforehand.

Here, we’ll look at what you need to consider before starting up an ice cream business, starting with the all-important figures…

How popular is ice cream in the UK?

In a word: very.

A recent survey found that 7 in 10 Brits would say ice cream is their favourite dessert, with vanilla coming out on top as the premier flavour. 

Strawberry and chocolate rounded out the top three to few surprises.

Indeed 59% of Brits say a scoop or two is the one thing that can turn their mood around if they’re feeling low – so we know that there’s a market out there.

How big is the UK’s ice cream industry?

Sales of ice cream in the UK have been fairly consistent in recent years, however there is a downward trend in the amounts that have been sold when compared to the early 2010s.

However, delving into the reasons for that could still throw up some business opportunities.

A sharp decline in sales in 2014 was felt across the world, with moves to healthier lifestyles blamed for a lack of interest in sweet treats.

However, replicating the sweetness of ice cream in a low-calorie or high-protein recipe could tap into both markets.

Different types of ice cream business

Manufacturing ice cream: Maybe you’ve sprung across the perfect ice cream recipe and think you could hit it big. If your marketing is on point you could land a big supply deal with major stores.

Mobile sales: In other words, driving an ice cream van! Hours can be long in this trade and your business is likely to be seasonal, with fewer people being hypnotised by the chiming tunes when they’ve got a big coat on.

Ice cream parlour: This could act as a combination of the two and if your physical premises is in the right spot, footfall could help you get onto a big business winner.

What to remember when starting an ice cream business

The must-haves: Taking out a fully comprehensive business insurance package will protect you against risks, while you will require a food standard rating in this industry too.

Figure your costs out: If you want to set up an ice cream parlour, for example, have you worked out how rental costs will impact your business model? Do you have manufacturing space available if you’re looking to make a new brand?

Have fun: Above all else, an ice cream business is a fun business! Keep a smile on your face and those of your staff and you’ll pass on plenty of joy to your customers along the way.

The latest stories