Sunday 4 December 2016

UK making enough ice-cream 'for half a billion cones'

Published 20/07/2015 | 14:42

Ice cream saw a significant rise in sales in 2014
Ice cream saw a significant rise in sales in 2014

Enough ice-cream was made in 2014 to fill seven-and-a-half cones for every person in the UK.

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A total of £723 million of ice-cream was manufactured in Britain last year, new figures show.

This was an increase of almost a quarter (22%) on 2008, and is roughly the equivalent of nearly half a billion standard-sized cones of soft ice cream, assuming an average price of £1.50.

Ice-cream was one of a number of summer-related products that saw a significant rise in sales in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Cider, sparkling wine and sleeping bags were among other items to benefit from last year's sunny weather.

The ONS figures show that:

:: Sales of trunks, suitcases and other similar containers have more than doubled since 2008 (115.1%), up from £13.2 million to £28.3 million.

:: Sales of sleeping bags have gone up even faster, rising almost fourfold from £1.3 million to £4.9 million. Assuming an average price of £20 per bag, this suggests that just under a quarter of a million sleeping bags were sold in the UK last year - the equivalent of one for every resident of Southampton.

:: While the sale of tents and caravans have also risen, sales of diesel engine motor homes have fallen almost a quarter since 2012. A total of £69.9 million were sold in 2014. By contrast sales of small caravans totalled £261.7 million. This translates as roughly 50,000 vehicles - enough for each resident of the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

:: Since 2008, sales of beer and cider have followed a pattern similar to that of the average annual temperature for the UK. The warm summers of 2011 and 2014 saw annual sales of the beverages rise considerably, while figures dipped in 2010 and 2012 when the temperature was below the mean average.

:: Cider has seen particularly strong growth recently, with manufacturers' sales increasing by over a half (58.8%) since 2010, hitting £911.2 million in 2014. The ONS suggests this rise may have been boosted by the increasing popularity of alternative fruit ciders.

:: Domestic sparkling wine is another product that is booming, with sales of £6 million in 2014 being more than double that of 2010.

:: Sales of UK-manufactured bicycles hit £60.2 million in 2014, up two-thirds on the previous year. More than double the number of bicycles were produced last year than in 2011. Both increases point to a recent rise in popularity of cycling, perhaps boosted by the Tour de France's visit to the UK in summer 2014.

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