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Unfreeze the Potential of Frozen Foods

Frozen food offers retailers a great opportunity to grow profitable sales at low risk.  The category has the same benefits of fresh produce and without the risk of waste or the time spent to merchandise and maintain displays. This is a sector that can drive customer visits and as such justifies some serious focus.

According to Mintel, frozen food is a near universal part of British menus. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) reports that the total UK frozen food market is worth £8bn with retail sales accounting for £3.73bn. Brian Young the CEO of BFFF states that frozen confectionery is showing growth of 6.4% with ready meals in growth by 2.1%. Overall retail growth in frozen food is projected at 2%

Mintel reports that with the size of homes shrinking and freezer space diminishing smaller more convenient packs are the key development area. This plays well for small convenience stores.

Jim Dudlicek of Ensemble IQ has identified five key drivers of frozen food in today’s market.

1. Millennials

Consumers under 40 have upped their consumption of frozen vegetables and their meal solutions are increasingly health focused.

2. Health & Wellness

This is an area that is in rapid growth right now. Perfectly portioned healthy frozen food meals in various cuisines offer a rich & diverse assortment to satisfy this demand.

3. Food Solution

A quick and nutritious family meal can be prepared using frozen components without the need for all the cutting, chopping, waste and prep time. For example a healthy lasagne or pizza can be at the centre of a great family meal – quick time.

4. Variety & Innovation

There is a lot of NPD in the frozen sector and stores should aim to rotate the range, innovate and bring in new lines to trigger consumer interest.

5. Displays and Visuals

Sadly this section is too often neglected in small stores. A small amount of work on stock presentation and POS can really make this area stand out.

Display equipment is important. It must be clean, well lit and of course running at the correct temperature of minus 20 degrees C. An investment in this area will always pay back.

Display capacity in small stores is obviously a limiting factor for frozen foods. The focus should be on consumers’ meal solutions and discretionary purchase needs and so the following areas must be given priority:

  • Pizzas and ready meals – always great meal solutions
  • Seafood – currently trending.
  • Burgers and sausages  - bbq season
  • Chips, potato products and vegetables.
  • Party foods – bank holidays.
  • Impulse ices and sweet treats.
  • Ice – always one of biggest sellers.

Unfreeze the potential of frozen foods and enjoy the benefits.

David Gilroy

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