The UK Frozen Potato Market

Compared to the fresh potato varieties available on the market, the frozen category continued its strong growth in sales last year in the UK, mainly due to investments in new product developments, as well as in marketing strategies meant to attract new consumers.

The UK already has one of the largest per capita consumptions of potato products in Europe, however, in the summer of 2013, consumer demand for potatoes was dampened by the warm weather, according to the Potato Council, while potato main crop prices again fell year on year from August 2013 as more favorable growing conditions for potatoes and tomatoes in the UK and Europe saw supply improve, suggesting scope for relief also in retail prices, as was concluded in a report by Mintel. The same report suggests that a growing focus among brands and own-label on how freezing can ‘lock in’ the nutrients of vegetables, as seen in the Birds Eye Field Fresh range, is also likely to have driven growth last year, on the frozen potato category. In other parts of Europe, the German retail market for frozen potato products was EUR350m in 2013, and is dominated by own-labels (sales via hard discounters, for example, are worth EUR100m), while the French retail market was worth EUR325m in 2012, with volume sales of 189,000 tonnes, according to data from Leatherhead Food Research. The company states that one growing sector of the French market is microwaveable chips – in 2012, sales were worth 2,500 tonnes, but growing by 26% per year, ...

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