Frozen food sales continue to go from strength to strength in the United Kingdom, adding another £930 million in sales according to the latest Kantar figures released by the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).
The statistics for the 52-week period ending March 21, reveal that the frozen category has continued to outperform the overall grocery market, increasing by 14.4% in value and 11.5% in volume. This is compared to 11.5% in value and 7.9% in volume for total grocery. The frozen food department has also outperformed the fresh and chilled sectors in value growth.
The strong sales performance continues the trend first reported by BFFF a year ago, when data revealed British shoppers had rediscovered the frozen food aisle and spent an extra £131 million on frozen in the four weeks ahead of the first lockdown.
Commenting on the figures, Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see a continuation of the success we saw in 2020. It’s evidence of a growing awareness of frozen food’s role in helping reduce food waste and the introduction of frozen to a younger demographic who want freshness, quality and convenience.
“Whilst last year’s performance was undoubtedly driven by the changing shopping habits due to the pandemic and the return to the big weekly shop, many consumers have been permanently converted to buying more frozen products by the long shelf life, value for money and variety of food on offer. These latest figures indicate this is likely to be a long-term trend.”
Since the last data set in December 2020, the frozen market has added another £198 million in value sales and just under 49,000 tons in volume. The Kantar figures show that of the nine categories covered, eight show both value and volume growth, although rates of value growth slowed from last year’s peak for vegetables, potatoes, pizza and savory categories. Only ready meals have not benefited from consumers buying more frozen, showing a value decline of -1.3% and volume down -2.9%.
Harrow commented: “With the re-opening of the hospitality sector, I hope 2021 will see the return of a more balanced market and a substantial recovery in out -of-home sales. At the same time, I’m confident that retail sales will remain strong and that the renewed enthusiasm for frozen food among consumers will continue.”