Research and Markets: UK Frozen Foods Market Report 2014

This Market Report provides in-depth analysis of the retail market for frozen foods in the UK. In 2013, the total market grew by 2.9% compared with the previous year. This growth was less substantial than in the previous 3 years, but was still impressive given the slump in demand for certain frozen foods following the exposure of the horsemeat scandal in 2013.

The sectors for frozen meat and meat products and frozen ready meals were the worst affected by the scandal, but the latter was the only sector to actually decrease in value. In the meat and meat products sector, inflation in the cost of meat, and particularly beef, encouraged value growth, despite a reduced demand for processed red meats. The scandal also had positive effects in this market though: when combined with expensive marketing campaigns from companies such as Quorn Foods, demand for frozen vegetarian foods increased dramatically.

The ice cream sector remained the most valuable in the wider frozen foods market, because by definition it includes both individual impulse purchases and larger tub and multipack purchases, the demand for both of which soared during the summer heat wave. The sector values for poultry and poultry products, potato products and vegetables and fruit also increased substantially in 2013. In the case of frozen potato products, this growth was primarily attributable to excessive inflation, but the other two sectors both experienced a surge in demand. This is linked to the growing consumer desire to eat both cheaply and healthily. In other sectors, the frozen fish and fish products and frozen pizza sectors experienced steady growth. Innovative product and brand developments made significant contributions to growth in these sectors, while the lack of such activity in the frozen desserts sector explains the stationary sector value.

The damage to sales following the horsemeat scandal appears to have been more short term than many commentators initially feared. Yet consumer confidence remains low and this is affecting the marketplace. This was exacerbated by the exposure of other cases of food fraud, such as the discovery of painkillers in Tesco own-brand ice cream and the widespread illness caused by frozen foods contaminated with pesticide in Japan.

While long-term trends concerning price and convenience remain important drivers in this market, consumer desire for food provenance is increasingly influential and will require adaptation. Similarly the economic recovery in the UK is providing consumers with more economic security which is threatening demand for frozen foods. To prevent consumers trading up to more expensive fresh products, the frozen foods market must alter the perceived image of good value but low quality. The industry approach to these challenges will be crucial to market growth in the next 5 years and beyond. Between 2014 and 2018 this report forecasts a growth of 12.6% in this market with the potential for sustainable and exponential growth beyond that.

– Bernard Matthews Ltd

– Birds Eye Ltd

– Cook Trading Ltd

– Delice De France Ltd

– Icelandic Group Uk Ltd

– Kerry Foods (Low Low)

– Mccain Foods (Gb) Ltd

– Noon Products Ltd

– Quorn Foods Ltd

– R&R Ice Cream Uk Ltd

– Unilever Plc

– Yeo Valley Farms (Production) Ltd

– Young’s Seafood Ltd