Continued emphasis on both health and convenience is necessary to stimulate the frozen vegetables market, reports Jonathan Thomas.
Frozen vegetables represent an important component of the European frozen foods industry, since they are a widely eaten meal accompaniment. Although the sector encompasses traditional favorites such as peas, carrots, broccoli and green beans, it also includes more exotic varieties, positioned as convenience and/or added-value products – one example is stir-fry vegetable mixtures, which are typically used in the preparation of Asian dishes.
According to Eurostat data, the EU is a major importer of frozen fruit and vegetables, with almost 4 million tonnes brought in every year. The major consuming countries are Italy, Germany and France. EU production of frozen vegetables is also sizeable, worth in the region of EUR1bn per year by value. Leatherhead estimates that total consumption of frozen vegetables in Europe (i.e. including the retail, foodservice and industrial sectors) is between EUR8bn and EUR9bn per annum, with annual growth on the low side. Western Europe’s leading retail frozen vegetable markets are listed below, with sales estimated by Leatherhead at more than EUR2.54bn in 2015. As can be seen, sales are highest in Italy, at EUR675m – this figure drops to EUR618m for the UK and EUR605m for Germany. Together, these three countries accounted for a combined 74% share of the overall market in 2015, a figure which rises to 90% ...