The retail frozen food sector in the United Kingdom finished the year on a high note, maintaining the impressive growth that saw it exceed the £6 billion milestone for the first time ever in 2017.
Statistics from Kantar Worldpanel for the 52-week period that ended on December 3 show that the value of sales was up 6.1% and volume increased 2%, creating an additional £64 million worth of value for the sector.
Star performing categories were savory food (which includes frozen bread, frozen stuffing cooked poultry, meat products, processed poultry, savory bakery, vegetarian products and other items), up 8.8% in value, closely followed by ice cream at 8.5%. Frozen vegetables and fish also recorded significant value growth of 7.2% and 6.7%, respectively. Savory food was also the star performer in terms of volume, up 7.2% over the 12-month period, confectionery also did well up 6.7% in volume.
“It’s great news to see the value of the category continuing to grow at a faster rate,” said John Hyman, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF). “The growth is in part due to the continuing premiumization of frozen food and a growing awareness by consumers that frozen can be as good as or better quality than fresh and is often superior value.”
The BFFF has put a lot of work into communicating the benefits of frozen to consumers, with focused and innovative marketing campaigns from brands and retailers contributing significantly to the change in consumer perceptions that we’ve seen in recent years.
“Consumers are much more tuned-in to the benefits of frozen food including waste reduction, convenience and health and are discovering the breadth of choice in high-quality, on-trend products that are available to them with little preparation at home,” said Hyman. “Increasingly, they are choosing the premium products on offer in the frozen aisle to try and replicate restaurant quality food at home, and this has contributed to this value milestone.”