Seven things you need to know about Frozen Food
- Frozen foods are growing in sales and importance
The frozen category is worth £344m in independent retail, according to data from TWC. Growing by 5.5% in value sales in the past year, the category is bigger than many other core convenience staples, such as bread & cakes, news & mags and food to go.
- Consumers are switching from fresh to frozen
One factor driving sales in frozen food is their comparatively cheaper prices than chilled food. With the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are now getting accustomed to switching from buying fresh products to frozen meals as the cheaper option.
- Veg is the star of the freezer
One of the main drivers of growth in the frozen category is vegetables, prompted by a shift in consumers eating healthier. According to Lumina, the biggest year-on-year growth in importance for product consideration for frozen is “health”, up by 3.4ppts from 2022.
TWC data shows frozen veg is one of the fastest-growing sub-categories in convenience, outstripping meat, fish, and frozen desserts.
- Frozen is benefitting from shoppers staying in more
After veg, the other top-three best-performing categories according to TWC are frozen pizza, up by 10% in value sales, and ice cream, up by 8%.
- Premium brands are stealing freezer space
It’s not just cheaper prices that shoppers are looking for. Even though consumers are cutting back on eating premium meals out, that doesn’t mean their taste for quality has changed altogether. Where a few years ago frozen foods were seen as just standard kitchen staples, premium brands are driving value and shoppers are expecting more from frozen.
- Meals made with frozen meat alternatives are rising
Consumers are continuing to cut down on the amount of meat they consume at home, with meat alternatives continuing to rise. The number of meals made with frozen meat alternatives has increased by 24 million a year since 2020 (Kantar), with bigger pack sizes driving growth as they provide more value.
- Retailers are giving more space to frozen
Research by KAM Media has found 43% of retailers have seen demand in frozen food increase. As a result of all this growth and activity, retailers are dedicating more space to the category in their stores. Retailers are creating space to make way for the frozen destination for consumers in the store and investing in bigger freezers to accommodate new ranges of frozen products.
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