The frozen food sector continues to perform well in both the UK and Ireland, mainly as a result of the growth which has returned to the category during the economic recession as more people appreciate the value for money many products offer. In both instances, the frozen food sector accounts for up to 5% of the overall retail grocery market, whilst per capita consumption of many varieties ranks above the more southerly European nations in particular. According to data from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), the UK market for frozen foods was worth GBP5.36bn in 2011. This figure rose by more than 5%, whilst volume sales increased by just under 2% to approximately 2 million tonnes. As can be seen from Figure 1, the ice cream sector accounted for a leading 16% of total market value in 2011, ahead of fish and seafood (14%) and ready meals (12%).
As is the case in the UK, penetration of frozen foods amongst Irish households is fairly high, at nearly 97%. If ice cream is included, sales of frozen foods were worth over EUR500m in 2011, with more cost-conscious consumers having returned to the category during these difficult economic times. Some of the market’s largest sectors in value terms include ice cream (EUR135m), pizza (EUR90m) and fish and seafood (EUR85m). At 45 kg, per capita consumption of frozen foods in Ireland is marginally higher than the UK.
For some years now, the fish and seafood products sector has been one of the better performers wi...