Coated foods face new challenges as Europe’s increasingly affluent consumers turn towards higher-value fresh and chilled proteins.
The growth in demand for coated foods witnessed during the economic downturn now appears to have stalled. Despite relatively high levels of new product activity – which has included the development of more novel coatings, in response to changing consumer tastes – there is evidence that in larger markets such as the UK and Germany, consumers are now turning towards fresh and chilled products, which are perceived as offering higher quality. Nevertheless, many types of coated foods still retain a large and loyal following, especially now that nutritional profiles have improved.
Coated Fish & Seafood
Although sales of coated fish and seafood across Western Europe remain on the high side, growth has stagnated in some of the region’s largest markets of late. Despite the perception that fish represents a healthier protein source than meat, as well as the convenience offered by many coated products, sales have been adversely affected by the trend towards fresh and chilled fish in parts of Europe. The Western European market is dominated by a few large countries – for example, the UK and Germany account for the bulk of sales of fish fingers throughout the region, which were estimated at 375,000 tonnes in 2014.
Western Europe’s largest market for coated fish products is the UK, as might be expected given the position of fish and chips as one of the nation’s...