Coronavirus: Frozen food sales boom by £285m

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Frozen food sales are up during the crisis
Frozen food sales are up during the crisis

Related tags coronavirus

Frozen food sales in the UK have boomed by £285m in the last three months due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest statistics from Kantar and the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) showed the growth in sales was double the increase in value experienced in the previous 12-week period to 22 March. 

Frozen sales rose in value by 19.4% and volume was up 17.5% in the period from the end of March to 14 June. In the previous 12-week period the value growth was 9.7% and volume 9.3%. 

Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive, said: “We now know more consumers than ever have been shopping in the frozen aisle since mid-March. This is hardly surprising, given the long shelf-life, reduced food waste, value for money and variety of food on offer there.”

Fish fingers

In April, sales of fish fingers and frozen peas were skyrocketing as millions of hungry schoolchildren swapped school dinners for lunchtime at home, the latest figures from the BFFF and Kantar revealed. In the four weeks from 23 February to 22 March, British shoppers spent an extra £131m​ on everything, from ice cream to frozen meat and poultry, as they filled up their freezers before the lockdown began on 23 March.

The recent 12-week data also revealed that frozen outperformed the total grocery market, as well as fresh and chilled food sales, in both value and volume.

Long-term, frozen sales were on an upward trajectory, reported Kantar. Data covering the 52 weeks from 16 June 2019 to 14 June 2020 showed that sales of frozen food reached £6.7bn, a rise in value of 6.1%, and that volume grew by 5.4%. 

Frozen veg sales up 

Kantar statistics showed that, over the last year, frozen veg was up 9.4% in volume and frozen pizza up 9.5% in volume. Ice cream and frozen fish sales were up in value by 8.9% and 8.8% respectively. 

These findings were supported by recently released research commissioned by BFFF members Iceland and Birds Eye, which found that more than a quarter (26%) of 18- to 24-year-olds were buying more frozen equivalents of their regular fresh items while 40% had been stocking up on healthy frozen options, including frozen vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. Almost a third (31%) were trying new frozen foods, such as meat substitutes, added the report.


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