His comments followed the launch of the BFFF’s annual Frozen Food Report, which found that consumer’s shopping habits had been heavily influenced by the pandemic, resulting in a surge in sales.
In this exclusive interview, Harrow discussed the trajectory for frozen food sales post lockdown and the likelihood of the sector maintaining the level of growth reported over the past two years.
“It’s obvious at the height of the pandemic that people’s shopping habits were changed dramatically, mainly because of the fear of going into stores – a lot of people chose not to go out shopping and if they did they went less frequently,” said Harrow.
“I think we will see a return back to the types of shopping habits we saw pre-pandemic … while its come back from the real highs of the pandemic, it’s still double what it was before the pandemic, so there are systematic changes that I think will remain.”
Food waste and trends
Harrow went on to discuss the affect frozen food can have on limiting food waste, as well as some of the trends in frozen food that would become prevalent in 2022. Frozen fruit was one of the standout stars of over the course of the pandemic and was only going to grow even larger, he explained.
“It’s grown massively, even against pre-pandemic [levels] — it’s grown by about 18% just in 2021, which is quite remarkable,” said Harrow. “I see frozen fruit being really in tune with what people want, especially with all the smoothie mixes out there.
“In terms of plant-based, we’re beginning to see more actual ‘plant-based’ products, as opposed to something that replicates meat. [Vegetarian] mince has also grown quite well.”