Cool trade: the world’s largest ice-cream exporters

27 July 2018
ITC News
Who’s scooping the benefits of the ice-cream value chain?

Record high temperatures have been set around the world this July. Across the northern hemisphere in particular, heat waves have raised climate concerns and, according to World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2018 has been the hottest La Niña year (usually associated with cooling) on record.

Rising temperatures also see people look for ways to cool down. One remedy to deal with the heat is ice cream.

But which countries are the main suppliers of this frozen treat? According to ITC’s Trade Map, France, Germany and Belgium are the world’s top exporters of ice cream. Combined their exports totalled $1.3 billion in 2017, accounting for a quarter of global exports. The outlook for future export growth of ice cream from the three countries is looking sweet, too. According to ITC’s Export Potential Map, Belgium, France and Germany could export an additional $1.1 billion worth of ice cream by targeting markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in the coming years.

Achieving this means having continued access to key ingredients. For example vanilla.

Ice-cream producers in Belgium, France and Germany source the majority of their vanilla from Madagascar. In 2017, world trade in vanilla totalled $1.2 billion, and Madagascar alone contributes to more than half of it. Madagascar could look at strengthening further its position as the world’s No 1 vanilla exporter: ITC’s Export Potential Map suggests that it could add another $257m worth of vanilla exports by 2021.

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