Cash-conscious consumers turn to frozen food

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Retailing, Business, Frozen food federation

Frozen food producers have welcomed the sharp rise in retail frozen food sales that has resulted from consumers switching from chilled to frozen food...

Frozen food producers have welcomed the sharp rise in retail frozen food sales that has resulted from consumers switching from chilled to frozen food as they seek to reduce their grocery spend and the amount of food they end up wasting.

The latest information from TNS Worldpanel shows that the retail frozen food market is now worth £4.8bn, showing 5.8% year-on-year growth at November 30 2008. The market has now seen 10 consecutive quarters of accelerating growth.

British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) director-general Brian Young said: “Consumers are turning to frozen in vast numbers, attracted by the locked-in nutrients, minimal waste and terrific value.” He expects sales in 2009 to exceed £5bn.

The BFFF has recently launched a new consumer website​, funded by retailers and manufacturers, to educate consumers on the benefits of frozen food.

At 9.7% year-on-year, the vegetables sector is growing faster in value than any other sector. Meanwhile the savoury foods sector is increasing by 8.6% a year, and the fish sector has now grown from £584M in 2006 to £690M in 2008.

Frozen ready meals also continue to increase in value: up 3.4% year-on-year. Only a year ago this sector was declining by 3.8% a year. Meanwhile, frozen pizzas have grown in value by 6.3%.

The only bad news was shown by ice cream, where sales were badly affected by this year’s dismal summer, resulting in a 5.9% fall by volume. Nevertheless, value grew by 3.3%, representing a switch to premium lines.

Elsewhere, potato products are making a steady growth in value, increasing by 5.5% year-on-year; the meat and poultry sector is growing by 3.7%; while confectionery and desserts is growing by 1.5%.

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