The frozen food market continues to grow in Germany, one of the top consumer countries on this segment in the world. In this exclusive interview, the German Frozen Food Institute’s representatives explain the popularity of this industry’s products among German consumers and predict the state of the industry.
By Dan Orehov
How would you describe the current scene for processed and frozen food in Germany?
Especially in the out-of-home market, the industry has grown by more than 30% in the last 10 years and has shown an excellent performance. Frozen food is and will remain on the road to success in the restaurant business. Frozen food sales continue to grow in retail as well. Over the past 10 years, frozen food has grown by almost 7.5 % in the retail sector. However, one has to keep in mind that the social trend as a whole is to take more meals outside of home. The per capita consumption of frozen products in Germany is currently 46 kg.
In your view, what are the main challenges for companies to sustain their growth in this segment?
The frozen food companies develop attractive and convincing products for private and professional users. The nutritional benefits of frozen foods in terms of freshness are obvious. Thus, the products provide the right answers to the biggest challenges in today’s nutrition: a healthy, fresh and sustainable food supply. Especially in the combination of freshness and convenience, there are further market potentials in the future as well. The key to successful growth in the frozen food sector lies in the development of new products and solutions that meet the zeitgeist and the wishes of consumers and provide the solutions. From our point of view, the frozen food industry will continue to grow in the future, because our category offers a high level of consistent, reliable quality and stands for flexibility, economy and sustainability both in private households and in professional kitchens.
What are some up-and-coming frozen food companies based in Germany?
There are also a number of start-ups in the frozen food market, which exploit the advantages of the technology for their product concepts. The providers of meat alternatives or insect-based products. And, of course, there are also interesting new start-ups in the ice cream and pizza segment, which liven up the market. This shows that frozen food is young and attractive.
What events/campaigns have you planned to endorse Frozen Food Month?
On Frozen Food Day on March 6, 2019, we distributed a press release to all relevant media in Germany in order to inform about the significance of this day and above all its origins 35 years ago: in 1984 US President Ronald Reagan announced this day for the first time in the United States. The Frozen Food Day was launched to remind subsequent generations of this important innovation in the food industry and its role in food supply. We also offered info graphics and statistical material that impressively illustrated the increase in per capita consumption in Germany over the past 35 years. We used social media such as Facebook to reach consumers and communicate frozen food knowledge in an entertaining way. Radio stations were provided with a short radio contribution and o-tones. Of course, we also tweeted about the day on Twitter. It is important to network with our members: in the meantime, some of our member companies are implementing their own frozen food day promotions and thus attracting even more attention. As a European project, the motto day can be further developed jointly by the TC associations.
What are some trends in frozen food you have observed for the past year?
There are many micro trends that come and go and there are long-term drivers in the market. The decisive driver over decades is convenience: make it easy for people to eat well and healthy. This is an essential feature of frozen foods – providing a convenient, everyday solution for a fresh, healthy, balanced diet. That is the driving force that you can observe in all product groups and is implemented in these little micro-trends by the frozen food companies. Whether ethnic themes, veggie, vegan or free from – you name it! You will find all these trends in the frozen foods department. The industry is always innovative and must be – in order to provide sales partners and consumers with the right contemporary offers.
You can read the entire article in the March-April 2019 print issue of Frozen Food Europe.