The vision of creating frozen food sales worth GBP10bn was outlined at the industry’s annual conference in Birmingham recently.
Speaking at the British Frozen Food Federation’s yearly gathering, chief executive John Hyman said: “In the 12 months since we last met the industry has achieved a significant milestone: retail sales worth over GBP6 billion. When combined with GBP2.3 billion worth of sales in foodservice, we have a UK frozen food market worth GBP8.3 billion, and it’s growing in volume as well as value.
“We are getting closer to reaching the GBP10bn target and I expect great things from frozen as many of the factors driving retail and foodservice markets are favorable to frozen food.”
The conference, at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole hotel, was attended by over 300 delegates and ran alongside the BFFF’s annual Health & Safety Seminar and a newly launched Technical Seminar. Conference delegates heard from a range of leading industry speakers including Kate Forbes, head of category development at Birds Eye who outlined opportunities for category growth and collaboration with consumers. Andrew Roberts, commercial director of Bidfood, who encouraged frozen food producers to innovate to generate more sales in foodservice and Iceland’s trading director, Bev Mitchell, who covered the success of the ‘Power of Frozen’ marketing campaign.
The opportunities for exporting more frozen food, as well retail and foodservice trends both in the UK and globally were covered by speakers included Nick Downing of the IGD, Graeme Littlejohn from the Scotch Whisky Association, Chris Hayward of Kantar Worldpanel and Simon Stenning of MCA.
Mr Hyman added: “Sales of frozen in retail are buoyant and I expect to see further growth as our members continue to innovate and develop premium products and more choice across every category enabling more consumers to trade up to frozen. Frozen scores highly when it comes to current consumer trends such as health, convenience and food waste. Freezing is a natural process that captures nutrients and vitamins and when you combine this with the ability of most foods to be cooked from frozen, in just the right portion size, it’s a win-win for consumers. The rise in online shopping is also a factor: frozen products over-trade online as consumers appreciate the added benefit of temperature-controlled delivery. The buoyant foodservice market is also playing in favor of frozen. Great taste, ease of preparation, portion control and reduced food waste all have a key role in helping busy kitchens make money, facts that are now widely recognized by chefs. As an industry, our supply chain is more efficient and controlled than ever before, with investment only growing. The frozen food industry is united in its commitment to innovation, investment and insight and will continue to drive forward in 2018 and beyond.”
The event was closed with an inspirational keynote address from Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes.