Belgium & The Netherlands – Plenty Room For Growth

Frozen food in Belgium and The Netherlands benefits by the economic recession, as consumers search for a more affordable alternative, similarly to other European regions. Although still perceived as the lesser option, compared to fresh food, volume sales increased in both countries and are expected to improve in the near future.

One of the main trends recorded in terms of consumer behavior is the increasing lack of time for meal prepa­ration, especially in The Netherlands. Thus, sales increases are driven not only by the convenience and price considerations, but also by the customers’ need to devote less time to cooking, a reason why frozen food is perceived as the best alternative. On account of the major sporting events that took place last year, such as the Euro 2012 and the Olympics, among the best performing categories in this segment were frozen ready meals and frozen pizza, due to the fact that custom­ers preferred to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in front of the TV. According to Leatherhead Food Research, in 2011/2012, the Dutch ice cream market was worth EUR670m, with a per capita consumption of 8.9 liters and own-label penetration for the Dutch frozen foods market is 26%. The total value of the frozen food market at retail level was of EUR 3.25bn in 2011, while the market for frozen bakery and desserts was estimated by Leatherhead Food Research at EUR30m, plus an additional EUR5m for sales via the foodservice and wholesale channels. As for the categor...