Between 2009 and 2013, value sales of ready meals in western Europe are anticipated to have increased by over 9% to euro 8.46bn, according to Leatherhead Food Research's (LFR) new report Frozen v chilled a European perspective. "Consumer concern over the healthiness of processed foods, together with the desire to return to more natural foods is likely to hold back growth in markets such as the UK," says the research company.
More dynamic growth is forecast for the pizza sector. By 2013 sales in the UK are expected to have increased by around 16%, compared with 2009 levels. This is partly because manufacturers such as Dr Oetker have been improving the quality of their ranges for a number of years and consumer perception of frozen products has been steadily improving, said LFR.
This is also true of the frozen coated fish and seafood market, said the report. Many of the recent launches in this sector have also focused on provenance. Coated foods supplied by Youngs, for example, are now frequently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Value sales of coated foods in western Europe are expected to have reached more than euro 3.88bn by 2013.