The frozen food category is enjoying growth and as more consumers turn to their local store for weekly shops and the meal time mission, retailers can ensure they are meeting demand by filling their freezers.
Growth in the frozen retail market may have slowed to +0.9% but retailers should be aware that there is still momentum. Within this, frozen savoury products and potato products have both shown strong value growth yoy of 4.9% and 4.1% respectively, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Similarly, the ice cream sector enjoyed the results of good summer weather and an increase in popularity of premium brands with a value growth of +3.8% yoy.
Brian Young, Chief Executive of British Frozen Food Federation, says that while many of the big name retailers are struggling, success in the premium and discounter ends of the market is positive for the frozen market.
“We’ve seen some good growth in a variety of sectors from the latest figures,” he says. “Volume growth in frozen ready meals is of particular note as consumers start to regain confidence in prepared meals.”
While this savoury and potato growth is worth noting, the frozen dessert category has remained static for a while now, with limited innovation coming into the market.
Amy Mumby, National Account Manager at Coppenrath & Wiese, says that contrary to total market performance, convenience has seen an increase in regular buyers to the category with shoppers buying little but much more often.
Coppenrath and Wiese is launching three products into its range this year, two Cream Pies to add an alternative, cold eating option to this growing category together with a Lemon and Lime Cheesecake launching into the biggest dessert sector. Guide rrps for the new launches range from £1.99-£2.49.
Mumby comments: “The zingy tang of lime and lemon in both the cheesecake and cream pie capitalises on the current trend for fresher, lighter flavours perfect for that family gathering or barbecue. The hugely popular Banoffee flavour combining toffee, banana and cream is a welcome addition to the pie category and is perfect for the topical consumer daily agenda of ‘tonight’s tea’.”
Frozen desserts present a huge opportunity, says Mumby, and smaller case sizes allow for products to be displayed straight on shelf and therefore not taking up room in the back.
Turning to that growing frozen potato category and McCain Foods is reinforcing its position as the UK’s leading frozen potato producer with the launch of six new products.
McCain has launched McCain Spicy Peri Peri Fries and McCain Steakhouse Ridge Cut Fries, each £2.50 for 750g, designed to capitalise on the importance of one and two person households, which account for around 60% of the UK population.
The new products take their inspiration from out-of-home casual dining experiences and have big flavours and innovative cut types to appeal to this new, more affluent audience. The products are aimed at driving penetration and frequency with consumers who don’t traditionally shop the frozen food aisle on a frequent basis.
Beyond that, and as part of its strategy of introducing a new limited edition flavour of Wedges each year, McCain is introducing McCain American BBQ Wedges (£2 for 750g).
The company is also introducing microwavable frozen Mashed Potato to its range (£1.50 for 650g), along with new and improved McCain Croquettes (£1.50 for 550g). Finally McCain Mash Machines (£1.50 for 454g) are made with real mashed potato, prepared with sunflower oil and are low in saturated fat, and come in the shape of trains, planes, cars and boats.
Mark Hodge, Marketing Director for McCain Foods, says: “We’re hugely excited about the extensive NPD hitting the freezers this month. We’ve done lots of research into exactly what it is that consumers are looking for, and we think we are spot on to help make every day teatimes more enjoyable through inspiration, choice and variety.”