The frozen food retail market has again seen positive results in the latest Kantar Worldpanel report, with growth in both value and volume in the 52 weeks to March 2017, which includes growth across almost every sub-category.
By John Hyman, chief executive of British Frozen Food Federation
The industry continues to demonstrate its versatility and innovation with sales in retail growing by 1.3% in value year on year (yoy) with the sector now valued at GBP5.77bn, and this is in no small part down to the continued focus on development of private label products. It’s no secret that historically, consumer perception of frozen food has been to purchase for value for money and convenience. However, the emerging focus on premium NPD across the entire sector is contributing to a shift in consumer perception around frozen from a ‘need’ product, to a ‘want’ product.
A look into the future
Every category in food is currently going through polarization as value ranges and premium ranges are outperforming the middle ground categories. Retailers are tapping into this opportunity to increase awareness of the quality of frozen food, while adding value to the frozen sector with the higher price point offered by premium ranges and are therefore allocating more focus to the development of their own brand ranges. The future growth opportunity in premium is making sure that every category has a superb premium range, with the highest possible quality – this represents really significant incremental growth over the next 5 years.
Iceland in particular has championed the quality of frozen with a clear focus on higher-end, more sophisticated products. Ice cream and confectionary for example have represented a clear opportunity for growth as recent Kantar Worldpanel stats show growth for the fifth consecutive quarter of 4% value and 11% respectively, with yoy volume growth of 2.9% and 7.1%.