Driving the value growth were sales of pizza and savoury food, including frozen bread and savoury bakery, with a combined increase in value of more than £100m year-on-year. The two categories now represent 16% of the total value of the frozen food market.
Ice cream also performed well in the 52 weeks to 18 June 2018, providing 7.7% of the market’s value with 0.8% volume growth. Recent hot weather sparked a peak in market growth for the category, with volumes expected to soar as forecasts predicted more sunshine over the next few weeks.
Tap into trends
British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) chief executive John Hyman said the results were a testament to frozen food’s ability to tap into trends underpinning consumers’ eating habits.
“Consumers are still buying traditional products like ice cream, but NPD [new product development] is driving them to incorporate more savoury products into their daily diets, which is good news for the frozen food industry,” said Hyman.
“More and more people are heading to the frozen food aisles where they know they can get restaurant-quality products to enjoy at home. Frozen makes it easier to access convenient and nutritious food such as frozen fish, which has also seen a 3.1% value increase in sales over the last year.”
The retail frozen food sector hit the £6bn “milestone” in October last year, as more and more consumers chose to shop regularly in the frozen aisle to incorporate products into their daily diet.
Growth accelerated since January 2017, due to an increase in product premiumisation across a range of categories.
Meanwhile, Hyman said it was only a matter of time before sales of UK frozen food, including retail and foodservice, would top £10bn.