John Hyman, former chief executive of British Frozen Food Federation, looks at the factors expected to drive growth of frozen food up to 2025 and beyond.
After a tremendous year of performance in 2018, the frozen food industry is now worth GBP8.6bn and growing at 4% YOY (year-on-year), making it the fastest growing retail food category at 3.6%, ahead of ambient (3.2%) and chilled (2.1%). This growth is set to continue, combined retail and foodservice frozen food sales expected to exceed GBP10bn by 2025. The British Frozen Food Federation’s recent Annual Conference (Frozen Food in 2025) highlighted insights and predictions from a number of industry experts and predicted a positive outlook for the industry in the next six years.
We believe that frozen food is well set for future growth and with current economic trends, the position of frozen food is stronger than it has ever been. As consumer demands are becoming more complex and far reaching, frozen food is ideally placed to inspire consumers with innovation in premiumization and natural health, while technology is enabling further convenience and is providing solutions to food waste.
As online shopping becomes the norm within households, we expect to see the positive impact this has had on frozen sales continue; frozen already over-indexes online. We are also not even halfway through the premiumization journey for the industry as a whole, with the aim to see premium products across every single category. So, with the innovation and pro-activeness that we have come to expect from our industry, I am very confident we will see further step changes.
Due to technological advances and ability to react quickly to consumer trends, the frozen food industry has a strong advantage in that it is able to provide consumers with trend-setting dishes they are seeing on menus, in the form of high-quality versions at home. This level of innovation and product choice are key factors in improving the perceptions around frozen food and increasing consumer curiosity around the product offering that is available in the frozen food aisle. This in turn increases consumer confidence when branching out into new product categories within frozen food, increasing the number of meal occasions that frozen is a part of, which contributes to our main goal of consumers heading to the freezer as often as they use their fridge.
You can read the entire article in the March-April 2019 print issue of Frozen Food Europe.