December 22/London/British Frozen Food Federation -- The latest market data shows surging year-on-year growth for the frozen food retail market in the U.K., which is up by 5.2% in value, according to the British Frozen Food Federation. “Covering all product types, the category has performed well with individual categories such as meat, vegetables and pizza experiencing strong value and volume growth,” a release noted

Commenting on the positive results, Brian Young, director general of British Frozen Food Federation, said, “It has been a rough 12 months for the food industry, and it is great to see frozen performing well. I believe this can be explained by great investment in products and processes from manufactures over the last year, giving consumers even more choice and better value than ever on quality products.”

The biggest area of growth in volume has been in frozen meat and poultry, which is up by 5.5%. Young said, “In times of economic uncertainty, traditional foods do well as consumers are comforted by familiar things. Choosing frozen meat and poultry allows consumers to make their favorite meals and foods at a much lower price point. The sector has increased in volume by almost 2% in just 12 weeks. Christmas could be the driving factor in this boom as people stock up on turkey and other festive meats. It’s very reassuring to see that the category that has suffered decline in recent months has now picked up.”

Other success stories from figures supplied by Kantar Worldpanel include frozen fish, which has seen a 4.7% increase in value and a 3.4% increase in volume on 2010. Young commented, “Celebrity endorsement and product innovation has helped to bolster the frozen fish sector. I predict that this growth will continue well into the summer months, when fish is typically most popular.

“Frozen vegetables are also in demand as consumers continue to understand that they offer high vitamin content and a ‘fresher than fresh’ taste.” Strong volume growth shows sales have increased in this category by 2.8%.

Continuing to dominate the pre-prepared category, frozen pizza sales are up 3.6% on 2010 with a value increase of 4.9%. Young said, “Manufacturers have really demonstrated that they understand the needs of consumers. A range of pizzas developed in-line with traditional take-away and restaurant alternatives has helped to grow this category.”

 From the December 23, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.