Frozen Food in Germany is not only a very popular food, it is also a growing market. German tastes and customs for consistent meals are supportive, creating a promising market environment. There is a tradition for specific frozen meals kept permanently in the freezer, ready to prepare a favorite dinner such as an apple strudel or a rich potato meal with sausages.
By By Alan Deane, founding partner and Ana-Maria Tatucu, head of research Food for Thought
This predilection is no longer about acceptance or convenience, but a primary choice for the shopping cart of each household. The freezer has a special place in the household kitchen, and today it is a family custom to have it well supplied. This is not so much a food religion as a sign of welfare and stability. If you are a guest in a German family, you had better be prepared for a long dinner, including many dishes and a rich menu.
A market dominated by three products
The Top-3 product markets make up close to two-thirds of the total market with 62%. These include Frozen Ready Meals (21.7%), Frozen Fish (20.5%) and Frozen Convenience Meat (19.7%). The other products covered are Frozen Pastry, Frozen Fruit, Frozen Vegetables, Frozen Potato, Ice Cream, Frozen Soup, Frozen Pizza, or 10 products altogether (see pie chart).
These 10 products cover practically the entire frozen food market. Gluten-free products are new upcoming markets, here for Frozen Pizza and Frozen Ready Meals. Such products are now reaching food retailer shelves and are set to grow in importance.
It would seem that consumers in Germany are to some degree following trends in the USA. In both countries, consumers show a high appetite for rich meals, easy to do and with not so much effort. The American “couch” consumers are apt to take a frozen item from the freezer and place it directly in the microwave oven. Fast and simple! And it seems that the German consumer is not far from following this gesture.
Consumers, not just in Germany, perceive more and more the advantages of using frozen foods in their meals. They are seen as more secure in quality and sourcing, and are also considered as good value for money. New processing techniques such as rapid freezing are better preserving the freshness and taste of frozen products. Food, if quickly frozen after harvest, retains and preserves most nutrients, an undoubted asset of these innovative products. In parallel, the quality of packaging has improved continuously, ensuring producer to consumer quality consistency.
You can read the entire article in the Nov-Dec print issue of Frozen Food Europe