Unilever, the world’s biggest ice cream company, thinks that ice cream can become too hot to enjoy. Known for popular ice creams loved by children and adults alike, the brand said that extremely high temperatures during the ongoing European heat wave may discourage consumers from making a purchase.
Graeme Pitkethly, Unilever’s chief financial officer, said there is an optimal temperature range for ice cream consumption, and when it gets too hot, people may choose cold drinks instead.
Despite challenging weather conditions, the company has experienced a surge in out-of-home sales in the European continent after temperatures rose in the month of June, following a cold spell in April and May.
However, in-home ice cream sales were lower in the first half of the year due to consumers reducing non-essential spending amid inflationary pressures.
Nevertheless, the company’s overall sales in terms of value increased by 5.7% compared to the same period in the previous year, mainly driven by higher prices, even though volumes slightly reduced.
The leading ice cream company’s strategic price hikes contributed to a 9.1% growth in sales across its products in the first half of the year.
Despite its positive performance, CEO of the company Hein Schumacher cautioned analysts about potential price volatility in agricultural commodity markets. Factors like the conflict in Ukraine affecting wheat prices and droughts in southern Europe could impact food prices. However, the Unilever raised its revenue growth forecast for the year to over 5%, boosting its shares by 5%.
Schumacher, who recently joined the company, has been optimistic about the its potential and plans to improve its performance further.
The newly-hired is expected to reveal his strategy for the business during the third-quarter earnings report in October.