Romania is currently the ninth ice cream producer in the European Union, with an annual production of 46.87 million litres. Romania’s market, which, experts say, is underdeveloped and fragmented, due to the fact that 90 percent of consumption takes place in summer, is dominated by global players Nestle and Unilever, followed by Betty Ice, the local player who is in the process of being acquired by the Anglo-Dutch giant.
The EU’s total ice cream production stood at 3.13 billion litres, according to data released by Eurostat. The EU’s biggest ice cream producer, Germany, produced 517 million litres in 2017, representing 16.5 of the entire production across the bloc, followed by Italy, with 511 million litres, or 16.3 percent of EU’s total production, and France, with 466 million litres, representing 14.8 percent.
Also in top ten are Spain (319 million litres), the United Kingdom(288 million litres), Poland (201 million litres), Belgium (197 million litres) and the Netherlands (111 million litres). Romania ranked ahead of the Czech Republic Hungary, Greece, Finland, Bulgaria and Denmark.
Romanian market remains fragmented
In January, Unilever announced it had reached an agreement to purchase Romania’s top local ice cream maker, Betty Ice, for EUR 100 million. The deal is currently being reviewed by the country’s competition body.
Currently, Nestle is the leader of the ice cream market, followed by Unilever and Suceava-based Betty Ice. Together they hold 40 percent of sales. Overall, the top six ice cream producers have 60 percent of total sales, valued at around EUR 200 million. The Romanian market is fragmented, due to the presence of numerous local and international players.
Also this year, one of Romania’s major local ice cream makers, Kubo Ice Cream, filed for bankruptcy, two years after filing for bankruptcy.