In 2019, the EU produced more than 3 billion litres of ice cream, representing a 6% increase from the previous year, Eurostat says.
Over the same period, EU Member States exported 222 thousand tonnes of ice cream to non-EU countries, worth a total of €723 million. In addition, imports of ice cream from countries outside the EU amounted to 82 thousand tonnes, worth a total of €180 million.
Germany was the EU’s main producer of ice cream
Among the EU Member States, Germany was the main producer of ice cream in 2019, producing 635 million litres of ice cream (amounting to 21% of the EU’s total ice cream production).
Italy produced 554 million litres (18% of the EU’s total ice cream production). Meanwhile 2018 data show that France produced 451 million litres that year (or 15% of total production in 2019).
France exported the most ice cream to countries outside the EU
France exported a total of 55 thousand tonnes of ice cream in 2019, accounting for 25% of total extra-EU ice cream exports.
This made it the largest ice cream exporter out of all EU Member States, ahead of the Netherlands (which exported 35 thousand tonnes of ice cream, or 16% of total extra-EU exports), Germany (29 thousand tonnes, or 13%), Italy (18 thousand tonnes, or 8%) and Spain (16 thousand tonnes, or 7%).
UK main destination and source of EU’s exports and imports of ice cream
The United Kingdom (UK) was the main destination for the EU’s exports of ice cream to non-EU countries. The EU Member States exported 128 thousand tonnes of ice cream to the UK (58% of total extra-EU ice cream exports).
Other main destinations were Switzerland (12 thousand tonnes, or 5%) and China (7 thousand tonnes, or 3%).
Imports of ice cream from non-EU countries came mainly from the United Kingdom (57 thousand tonnes of ice cream, or 70% of extra-EU ice cream imports), Serbia (16 thousand tonnes, or 19%) and Switzerland (2 thousand tonnes, or 2%).