Frozen food thrives as purse strings remain tight

The UK frozen food sector is continuing to thrive despite difficult economic circumstances, posting a 6% value growth for the year to 10th June, 2012, qccording to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The data shows that the category has expanded its value in all product sectors year on year, which is particularly clear in the case of meat and poultry which has grown 13% in value and 6% in volume. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) puts this down to consumers continuing to realise the financial and nutritional benefits of frozen meats.

Commenting on the growth, BFFF Director General Brian Young said: “Despite the UK entering a double-dip recession in the second quarter of 2012, the frozen food sector is continuing to thrive.  As frozen food manufacturers continue to invest in premium NPD the value of the industry is continuing to grow despite economic instability. This is demonstrated in the ice cream category which, despite a 4.5% volume drop caused by bad weather, has seen a 4.4% value growth as consumers opt for luxury products.”

A particularly strong area of growth is in the potato products category which has seen 9.9% value growth in the last two quarters.  Young continued: “Recent NPD innovations from leading brands, such as McCain with its ready baked potatoes, are leading growth in the market.”

Other success stories include fish and vegetables which have experienced continued steady growth in value over the last two years, with respective growth at 3.4% and 7.8% YOY in the 52 weeks to 10 June 2012.  Pizza continues to be the product sector which is excelling most in the face of the recession with both value 5.9% and volume 2% growth in the last six consecutive quarters. Similarly, ready meals are growing by 4.2%. by value.

Young concluded: “As consumers continue to appreciate the benefits of frozen foods in terms of nutritional and great value, I predict that the frozen market will continue to grow over the coming months as people try to make their money go further. The challenge to manufacturers is to maintain their focus on premium NPD to guarantee continued growth once consumers start to feel more confident about their disposable cash.”

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