Trade Associations, Shows & Conferences

UK Consumers Turning to Frozen Food as BFFF Celebrates 75 Years

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With sales of frozen food topping 2 billion tons a year, British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) President Ian Stone needs no convincing that consumers in the United Kingdom are embracing the convenience, value and quality of frozen products like never before.

“The combined effects of the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis have led to a new-found enthusiasm for frozen foods,” stated Stone in an address to approximately 800 business leaders attending the Federation’s celebratory 75th Annual Luncheon at London’s Hilton Park Lane on November 21.

He cited research conducted by the BFFF which reveals that two in five shoppers, or nearly 40%, say that they are now buying more frozen food than they did just a year ago.

“Increased numbers of consumers and foodservice operators have found what we have always known: that frozen food provides the best value nutritional food with the longest shelf life, allowing the consumer to only cook what they want, when they want it,” said Stone. “And for the caterer, frozen provides exceptional quality, and nutritious ingredients that increase yields and provide utmost flexibility.”

BFFF President Ian Stone

His speech marked the official 75th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the trade association on June 11, 1948, in London for the inaugural meeting of what is now the British Frozen Food Federation.

Quoting from the archives, Stone said that the first AGM, attended by only 11 people, reported: Frozen food growth is rapid. Annual sales of frozen fruits are more than 2,000 tons, frozen vegetables more than 4,000 tons and frozen fish from Grimsby a whopping 5,000 tons.

Stone continued: “They say being able to age is a gift. Well, what a gift 75 years has been for our industry for our Federation. And in frozen food, I believe we have a gift that can keep on giving for another 75 years, to the year 2100 and beyond. In an environment where there has been a staggering growth in the importance of sustainability, we all know that frozen food is still the most sustainable food of all.”

However, he added: “We face a frustrating challenge, our research also shows one in three Brits still believe frozen food is inferior to chilled food.”

To address the challenge, the president cited “The Frozen Food Revolution,” a new consumer facing campaign launched this year by the BFFF aimed at informing, educating, and engaging consumers about the numerous benefits of frozen products.

“A big thank you if you were one of the many members who engaged with the campaign and utilized the digital download pack on the website. And a special thank you to Farmfoods for sponsoring this campaign and enabling us to reach more consumers. The intention is to do this bigger and better next year.”

Stone, who is chief commercial officer of apetito, went on to praise the efforts of the BFFF, stating: “We should be proud of the talented team representing us and the industry. It was testament to all their hard work that in our 75th year, we were nominated and duly won the prestigious Trade Association of the Year Award at the Food Management Today Awards.”