UK FROZEN FOOD SALES OUTPACE OVERALL GROCERY MARKET GROWTH

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Frozen food sales in the UK are continuing to outperform the overall grocery market, according to recently released data.

Figures from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) indicate that sales jumped 14.4% in value in the year to March 21, compared to an 11.5% increase for groceries as a whole.

The statistics, produced for the BFFF by analyst Kantar, indicate that frozen foods enjoyed an 11.5% increase in volume in the UK, which again exceeded the overall market growth of 7.9%.

The growth in value of frozen food sales was £930m, according to the figures, which BFFF’s CEO, Richard Harrow, said in a statement were “encouraging” and a continuation of the increases seen in early 2020.

“It’s evidence of a growing awareness of frozen food’s role in helping reduce food waste and the introduction of frozen to younger demographic who want freshness, quality and convenience,” he added.

He said the latest figures were “undoubtedly” driven by changes in shopping patterns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, with consumers focusing more on a large weekly shop. However, he added that some shoppers had been “permanently converted” to buying more frozen foods.

Buying habits may change this year, though, according to Harrow, as more hospitality venues open, allowing people to eat out more often. He said that, despite this, he was “confident” shop sales of frozen products would hold up.

Among nine categories of frozen foods analysed, eight have seen increases since the last time figures were released – in December 2020 – with only ready meals showing a decline.

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