According to new Kantar data from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), volumes declined by 1.2% or 5.95m tonnes across June, July and August when compared to the same period in 2022.
Sales of frozen food staples such as ready meals and meat and poultry declined by 1.7% and 2.5% respectively. However, frozen fish volume sales increased by 3.2%, while vegetables experienced a 5.3% year-on-year increase.
Despite the drop in volumes, the value of frozen food sales grew 12.5% when compared with the same period last year, the equivalent of a £218.4m rise. This can be attributed to inflationary pressures that have impacted the entire industry, with food and drink inflation sat at 12.2% as of September 2023 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Meanwhile, the fresh and chilled market also saw a reduction in volume sales, posting a 2.4% year-on-year decline.
Decline in frozen food volume sales 'modest'
BFFF chief executive Rupert Ashby described the decline in volume sales as “modest” and said that volumes should pick up again over the next quarter.
“Christmas season is fast approaching, and frozen food is ideal for buffets and sharing boards at festive parties,” he added.
Ashby continued by extolling the benefits of frozen food, such as the “great value for money” it offers without causing a compromise on “quality, taste or nutritional value”.
“The 16 to the 22 October 2023 was Frozen Food Week, where the BFFF launched the FrozenFoodRevolution.co.uk to promote the benefits of frozen food to consumers and raise awareness of the BFFF as the voice of the industry,” Ashby said.
“Through a series of press and digital communications, the weeklong campaign informed, educated and engaged consumers about how and why frozen food has many overlooked benefits. These include waste reduction, cost savings, sustainability, quality and nutrition.”