The frozen food market in the UK and Ireland suffers to a certain degree from negative consumer perceptions. Compared to other European countries such as France, where many consumers perceive frozen food to be fresh, healthy and of a high quality, frozen food in the UK and Ireland continues to lag behind fresh and chilled alternatives, with products carrying a stigma of being highly processed, lower in quality, and of a lower nutritional value.
The UK is, however, one of the leading countries within the European frozen food market in terms of innovation, dominating total new product launch activity between January 2008 and September 2013, closely followed by Germany and France. In the first nine months of 2013 (January to September), however, the UK saw a sharp drop in the number of new frozen food product launches compared to the rest of Europe.
According to Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD), frozen food innovation in the UK and Ireland is dominated by three categories: ‘Desserts and Ice Cream’, ‘Meals and Meal Centers’, and ‘Processed Fish, Meat and Egg Products’. Between 2008 and 2012, these categories each accounted for around a quarter of all frozen food launches (27%, 24% and 24% respectively). In 2013 (January to September), however, all three categories have seen significant declines in the number of new product launches, with private label launches falling the most. In the UK, new product launch activity has been dominat...