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London-based Unilever's foods and refreshment sales dropped 1.7% in the first quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic — and its ice cream sales were hardest hit.
The reason? Unilever said consumers in its key markets, including Europe, Turkey and Latin America, avoided ice cream parlors and other eateries because of coronavirus.
Unilever owns popular ice cream brands including Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Klondike and Magnum.
"As the crisis hits countries around the world, we see upswings in sales of hygiene and in-home food products, combined with some household stocking, and near cessation of out-of-home consumption which is particularly affecting our food service and ice cream business," CEO Alan Jope said.
Unilever is preparing for "lasting changes in consumer behavior" throughout the globe even as countries move into recovery, Jope said.