Food Giants Among Members of New French Ice Cream Group

More than two-thirds of France's ice cream industry—including a few big names you might be familiar with in the American market—will join forces as part of the Association des Entreprises des Glaces.

Some of the world’s largest food companies are joining forces in a new trade group, though you might have trouble reading about it if your French is a little rusty.

That’s because the Association des Entreprises des Glaces (Association of Ice Cream Companies) is focused squarely on the French food market. The group, which represents more than 70 percent of the country’s ice cream and sorbet industry by sales revenue, counts on its roster some big names that are familiar in the United States.

Those include the French subsidiaries of Unilever (which makes Ben & Jerry’s), General Mills (which owns the Häagen-Dazs brand and sells it outside of the U.S. and Canada), and Nestlé (which is noted for the Extrême brand in France). Also on the roster are the European brands R&R (which has a joint venture with Nestlé), Les Délices du Valplessis, Thiriet, and Ysco. reports that the association is forming in part to properly tackle shifts that have taken place in the ice cream sector in recent years.

“Our wish is to preserve and attach value to our ice cream­-manufacturer expertise, but also to keep on offering quality products and innovations in line with societal shifts to customers,” Esther Kalonji, the trade group’s secretary general, told the website.

Ice cream is doing well in France these days, with the industry representing more than $1.1 billion in sales in 2015 and growing at a rate of 2 percent yearly. But shifts in the industry, including a shortage of vanilla pods and a potential move toward more savory offerings, could catch ice cream makers off guard if not properly prepared for.

Curious? Check out the association’s website—but again, if you don’t speak French, you may want to fire up Google Translate.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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