Driving growth were sales of ice cream and frozen confectionery, up 5% and 8.7% respectively, with a combined increase in value of more than £500,000 year-on-year. The two categories now represent 22% of the value of the frozen food market.
Frozen vegetables also performed well in the past year, with a 4.5% value and 3.4% volume growth year-on-year.
Notable products in the category include sweet potato and diced onions, tapping into the growing consumer trend of ‘convenient nutrition’ and easy meal preparation.
Sales of frozen food outperformed growth in the big four retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons, which saw sales increases of between 1% and 2.3%.
British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) chief executive John Hyman said the results were very encouraging for the future of frozen food.
“What we’re seeing is testament to the fact that frozen food, particularly frozen fruits and vegetable ingredients, is ideally placed to tap into the trends underpinning consumer eating habits,” said Hyman.
“More and more people are jumping on the meal-prep trend and frozen makes it even easier to access convenient yet nutritious food as well as the occasional sweet treat which is seeing sales rise.”
Value of the British frozen food market
In August last year, the BFFF estimated the value of the British frozen food market at £8.13bn. The value included retail sales of £3.73bn and foodservice sales of £2.4bn.
The organisation predicted retail sales growth of 1% and 2% over the next five years, while foodservice sales would grow at more than 2%.
Former BFFF chief executive Brian Young told FoodManufacture.co.uk that growth in the frozen food sector offered significant opportunities for food manufacturers.
Meanwhile, new BFFF boss John Hyman told Noli Dinkovski that manufacturers have a huge opportunity to grow the £8bn sector further in our exclusive interview.