Stone, who is also chief commercial officer of apetito, said prolonged shelf-life, reduced wastage and competitive pricing means frozen food can help consumers and foodservice operators cope with pressures of double-digit food inflation.
He said: “I believe that we, the frozen food industry, are perfectly placed to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, for the difficult times that lie ahead.”
“And just cast your minds back, to when we were last together, we were fearful of food inflation rising by 5%. But who would have thought just a year later we would be facing food price inflation of a staggering 15%; the highest since 1980; wreaking havoc on our industry's post pandemic recovery?”
He raised concern and highlighted the challenges facing BFFF members with the ‘once in a generation challenges’ of inflation and energy as well as recovery from the pandemic.
“However, we have additionally had to face labour shortages and supply chain issues, resulting in huge and constant pressures on input costs and ingredients for all of us,” he said.
Stone said that the industry must “constantly strive” to offer the highest quality, best value nutritional food that provides the longest shelf life, reduces waste, and allows consumers to only cook what they want, when then want it.
“For the foodservice operator, we must provide the finest quality, nutritious ingredients that minimise waste, increase yields and provide utmost flexibility for the caterer. And we need to ensure that all caterers - whichever sector - see frozen food as an aspirational option, not just the option of last resort,” he said.
Next year in 2023 the BFFF will be celebrating its 75th anniversary.