Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2023 - 2028)

Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market is segmented by Product Type (Impulse Ice Cream, Take-Home Ice Cream, and Artisanal Ice Cream); by Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Convenience Stores, Specialist Stores, Online Retail Stores, and Other Distribution Channels); and by Geography (South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Rest of Middle East & Africa). The report offers market size and values in (USD million) during the forecasted years for the above segments.

MEA Ice Cream Market Size

Africa Ice Cream Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2027
CAGR: 10.7 %

Major Players

Africa Ice Cream Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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MEA Ice Cream Market Analysis

  • The Middle East & Africa ice cream market is projected to register a CAGR of 10.7% during the forecast period.
  • Branded and private-labelled ice creams comprise a vital part of the Middle East & African frozen dessert market. Sweltering summer benefited the Middle East & African ice cream market. Although prices continued to rise, retail value sales recorded significant growth. With the rise of Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream and the presence of international players, such as Baskin-Robbins and Haagen-Dazs, ice cream accounts for a significant share of the African dessert market. Additionally, the shift in consumer preference toward the vegan diet and the growing lactose intolerance population improved demand for the non-dairy ice cream category across the region. This, in turn, is augmenting the growth of the ice cream market in the region.
  • There is also a rise in demand for premium ice creams, which will be one of the primary factors driving the market growth. Premium ice creams have become a popular product among health-conscious consumers due to the presence of high-quality ingredients and a lower amount of aeration than regular ice creams.
  • Furthermore, the growing popularity of low-fat, keto-friendly ice creams and the introduction of healthy product variants with various flavors will likely provide numerous options for consumers. For instance, in December 2021, Thrivv, a healthy food brand based in the United Arab Emirates, launched keto-friendly bread, jam, and ice cream for people with diabetes on its e-commerce store and Noon Daily, Kinsons, and Shop Kitopi as well. The market in the region is therefore expected to grow due to these factors.

MEA Ice Cream Industry Segmentation

Ice cream is a sweet, frozen dessert made from milk, cream, and artificial or natural flavorings. Some variants like frozen custard and French ice creams also use egg as one of the main ingredients. Ice cream is a rich source of carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B-6, and B-12.

The Middle East & Africa ice cream market is segmented into product type, distribution channel, and geography. By product type, the market is segmented into impulse ice cream, take-home ice cream, and artisanal ice cream. Based on the distribution channel, the market is segmented into supermarkets/hypermarkets, convenience stores, specialist stores, online retail stores, and other distribution channels. Based on geography, the market includes major geographies across the region, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Rest of the Middle East & Africa.

For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of value (in USD million).

Product Type
Impulse Ice Cream
Take Home Ice Cream
Artisanal Ice Cream
Distribution Channel
Convenience Stores
Specialist Stores
Online Retail Stores
Other Distribution Channels
South Africa
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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MEA Ice Cream Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the MEA Ice Cream Market according to our research experts:

Demand for Low-fat and Non-dairy Ice Cream Products

  • Non-dairy products such as ice creams contain a high amount of lipids, vitamins, albumin, carbohydrates, and casein that provide significant health benefits. Shifting trends toward vegan lifestyles owing to increasing health consciousness and socialization trends are propelling the industry and shifting consumers' preferences toward low-fat products.
  • High per capita ice cream consumption, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is boosting the product demand in the region. Comprehensive product variations through materials, including coconut, almond, and soy milk, will positively influence the industry's growth. Innovative flavour offerings, mainly including blended flavours, have enhanced product development. Increasing consumer spending on take-home and impulse products will further boost the non-dairy ice cream demand.
  • Moreover, rising incidences of lactose intolerance and other milk-related allergies foster product demand. For instance, according to Britannica ProCon.org, in Saudi Arabia, in 2022, 28% of the country’s population had lactose intolerance; similarly, 81% of South Africa's population had lactose intolerance, while 73% of Morocco's Population had lactose intolerance
Africa Ice Cream Market - Prevalence of Lactose Intolerance (in%), By, Country, Middle East Africa, 2022

United Arab Emirates Dominating the Ice Cream Market

  • Ice cream remains the favourite frozen dessert in the United Arab Emirates as it has an arid subtropical climate with long summers and brief warm winters. Thus, expatriates, tourists, and locals consume it throughout the year. The consumption is likely to increase with multinational ice-cream manufacturers such as Mars GCC and Unilever Middle East entry. A growing preference for natural, less processed, and convenient food and an increasing focus on low-calorie ice creams enable companies to tap into the market's growth potential.
  • Many ice cream manufacturers have been instrumental in introducing new varieties and flavours. For instance, some of the most exotic concoctions in September 2022 include saffron gelato with Emirati pumpkin pudding, green apple wasabi, and pistachio baklava. To elevate the standard for extravagance in frozen desserts, Ahmad Almarri launched Canvas Gelato, the Dubai-headquartered artisanal ice cream company, in 2017. Almarri claimed they entered the ice cream industry to offer superior gelato with stronger flavours made with natural ingredients.
  • Moreover, the growth of the tourism sector and restaurant businesses is also expected to support the growth of the ice cream market in the country. For instance, post-COVID-19, the tourism industry is regaining its trajectory with increasing inbound tourist trips to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has estimated that around 3.48 million inbound tourists will visit Saudi Arabia in the year 2021.
Africa Ice Cream Market - Arrivals of International Tourists, in Millions, United Arab Emirates, 2021

MEA Ice Cream Industry Overview

The ice cream market is fragmented and competitive, comprising many regional and international competitors. The Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market includes the company profiles of Unilever, General Mills Inc, Nestle, IFFCO Group, and Wells Enterprises, Inc. The most active companies in the market are mainly focused on introducing new products to cater to the interests of consumers. Key players are focusing on product development and product innovation to meet the consumer's needs by offering a variety of tastes and product quality to maintain premiumization. Some of the major players use mergers and acquisitions as their key strategy. The strategy to follow mergers and acquisitions by these top players is to sustain and secure a leading position in the industry. This will enable the companies to maintain dominance over other players, and the companies can remain a strong competition for other players in the market.

MEA Ice Cream Market Leaders

  1. General Mills, Inc.

  2. IFFCO Group

  3. Nestlé S.A.

  4. Unilever PLC

  5. Wells Enterprises, Inc.

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Africa Ice Cream Market Concentration

MEA Ice Cream Market News

  • May 2022: Baskin-Robbins partnered with the premium chocolate brand Galaxy to launch a fusion product, Milk Chocolate Twist. The product is developed with a fusion concept of flagship chocolate from Galaxy and ice cream from Baskin Robins. The new flavor will be served in a sundae topped with hot fudge, milk chocolate balls, and two Galaxy flutes at a few Baskin-Robbins locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • March 2022: Baskin-Robbins company which operates under Inspire Brands, expanded its presence in the United Arab Emirates by opening its 1000th store in the Middle East, North Africa, and Australia combined. The outlet opened at Dubai Hills Mall, and Baskin-Robbins hosted a public ice cream party at Ain Dubai to mark the event.
  • March 2022: Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Company (Sadafco) officially opened its state-of-the-art ice cream facility, expanding its production area by 1,570 square meters. Sadafco currently has a 6,000-pallet frozen warehousing capacity and has doubled its mixing and pasteurization capacities in anticipation of future prospects. Furthermore, the new factory will boost local production of the Saudia Ice Cream range, including its renowned Ice Cream Sandwich, and contribute to the country's 'Made in Saudi' vision.

MEA Ice Cream Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Defination

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Impulse Ice Cream

      2. 5.1.2 Take Home Ice Cream

      3. 5.1.3 Artisanal Ice Cream

    2. 5.2 Distribution Channel

      1. 5.2.1 Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

      2. 5.2.2 Convenience Stores

      3. 5.2.3 Specialist Stores

      4. 5.2.4 Online Retail Stores

      5. 5.2.5 Other Distribution Channels

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 South Africa

      2. 5.3.2 Saudi Arabia

      3. 5.3.3 United Arab Emirates

      4. 5.3.4 Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Most Adopted Strategies

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 General Mills, Inc.

      2. 6.3.2 Nestlé S.A.

      3. 6.3.3 Inspire Brands, Inc.

      4. 6.3.4 Unilever PLC

      5. 6.3.5 IFFCO Group

      6. 6.3.6 Saudia Dairy & Foodstuff Co Ltd

      7. 6.3.7 Mars, Incorporated

      8. 6.3.8 Wells Enterprises, Inc.

      9. 6.3.9 Graviss Group

      10. 6.3.10 Gatti Ice Cream

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
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MEA Ice Cream Market Research FAQs

The Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market is growing at a CAGR of 10.7% over the next 5 years.

General Mills, Inc., IFFCO Group, Nestlé S.A., Unilever PLC, Wells Enterprises, Inc. are the major companies operating in Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Market.

Middle East & Africa Ice Cream Industry Report

Statistics for the 2023 Middle East & Africa Ice Cream market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. Middle East & Africa Ice Cream analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2028 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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