Benelux Frozen Processed Food – A Tale of Two Markets

Frozen processed food is a well established category in the Benelux. In 2013, the frozen processed food category accounted for just under EUR1.7 bn in total value sales which represents roughly a 5% share of the total sales of packaged food in this region. Compared to 2012, sales value for frozen processed food registered an increase of 1%. In terms of volume there was a minor decline in 2013.

The Benelux is often regarded as one single market, but there are major differences between the two biggest countries, The Netherlands and Belgium, which impact frozen processed food. The Netherlands and Belgium both have a well established and mature frozen processed food category, but when it comes to food culture, shopping behavior and retail environment there are differences which have a fundamental impact on the development of frozen processed food in these two countries.

Higher spending on frozen processed food by Belgians
Besides contrasting eating habits, there are also some important differences in shopping behavior. In Belgium, the share of frozen processed food in total food spending for instance is much higher than it is in the Netherlands. In 2013, the share in frozen processed food of total packaged food was 6.2%, while in the Netherlands this share was only 4.8%. In fact, the per capita spending on frozen processed food in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in Western Europe.
One major reason for the relatively low share of frozen processed food in total food spending i...

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