CHICAGO — The market for ice cream and frozen novelties came out of two years of struggling sales in 2011 to post retail sales of $10.7 billion, a 4.1% increase from the previous year, according to Mintel. The market also is expected to post 4% growth again in 2012.

“Aside from the flavor of frozen treats, price is the key factor in a consumer’s decision on what to purchase,” said John N. Frank, food and beverage analyst for Mintel. “Price is more important than brand, quality and health information, which makes it difficult for brands to break away from a price promotion strategy but does give private label products a major opportunity for growth.”

Ninety-four per cent of consumers said they base their decision of ice cream and frozen novelties purchases on flavor, with 83% looking at price and 72% seeking a sale or promotion. Sixty-eight per cent of consumers based their decisions on brands alone.

New product development will be critical for the continued success of the ice cream market in coming years, Mr. Frank said, with new flavor profiles, ingredients, better-for-you products and new packaging concepts being important.

Reduced fat, reduced sugar and reduced calorie are the most important claims consumers are looking for in ice cream and frozen novelty items, with gluten-free and dairy-free products rising in popularity. Serving size is important to 69% of survey respondents who buy frozen treats and 74% of consumers ages 18 to 24.

The popularity of Greek yogurt is contributing to the growth of frozen yogurt, which was up 10% from 2011 to 2012.