South Korea’s ice cream market has been shrinking in recent years, industry data showed Saturday, apparently due to the falling number of children coupled with growth of cafes offering alternative desserts.

According to data compiled by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the country’s ice cream market was estimated at
1.6 trillion won ($1.49 billion) in 2017.

The data is based on the volume sold through retail stores. It marked a 14.2 percent drop from 1.9 trillion won posted in 2016.

The market’s size stood at 2 trillion won in 2015.

Local convenience stores sold 494.9 billion won worth of ice cream in 2017, down from 518.5 billion won posted a year earlier.

Supermarket chains saw the volume drop for two consecutive years to reach 219.9 billion won last year after posting 254.6 billion won in 2015.

Independent supermarkets suffered the biggest drop, with the figure plunging to 281.6 billion won from 1.4 trillion won posted in 2013.

“The ice cream market is suffering a major wane,” an official from the local foodstuff firm said. “We are releasing new products, but the sales and profitability keep decreasing, leading to a shortfall.” (Yonhap)