The frozen food industry is worth £8.6b after growing by 4% in 2018 and industry chiefs predict its only going to expand further.
The results make frozen the fastest-growing retail food category, with combined retail and foodservice sales expected to exceed £10b by 2025.
John Hyman, chief executive of British Frozen Food Federation said: “We believe that frozen food is well set for future growth and with current economic trends, the position of frozen food is stronger than it’s ever been. As consumer demands are becoming more complex and far reaching, frozen food is ideally placed to inspire consumers with innovation in premiumisation and natural health, technology enabling further convenience and as a solution to food waste.”
Hyman has looked at the factors expected to drive this growth, including the increasing popularity of plant-based diets. He sees frozen food providing convenient, pre-prepared, low-waste ingredients that can appeal to this growing market.
Technology is also set to support growth in the sector with the rise of robotic delivery meaning consumers and suppliers can be confidence the integrity of their food will not be compromised in transit.
The UK’s growing population is also expected to see increasing demand from foodservice as the sector looks meet the demands for variety, innovation, portion control, waste reduction and quality.
Hyman added: “So looking at what we know about the performance of frozen food online and the premiumisation that is currently being seen across all categories and is only expected to grow, frozen food is in a very strong position to capitalise on these consumer trends and continue to go from strength to strength.”