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Attitudes towards Frozen Food - UK - September 2016

“Frozen food is a near-universal part of British menus, spurred by the strong value for money and convenience image of buyers’ favoured products. Yet for many people this only entails a handful of product types. Current consumer trends pose challenges for frozen, as many buyers lack confidence in cooking with frozen ingredients while the shrinking size of homes and households sees freezer space diminished, highlighting smaller packs as a development area.”
– Anita Winther, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Frozen food struggles to appeal to the large pool of scratch-cooks
  • A case for smaller packs as freezer space diminished by homes and households getting smaller 
  • Price promotions outside the frozen aisle can help to address key challenge of driving footfall

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Frozen food benefits in lean times
              • Scratch-cooking poses challenges to frozen food
                • UK housing trends put a squeeze on freezer space
                  • Focus on food waste should support frozen food
                    • Rise of top-up shopping could challenge frozen
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Frozen food launches jump in 2015 fuelled by Iceland
                          • Birds Eye is leading brand by NPD
                            • Premium activity continues in 2015
                              • Quality and food waste avoidance are key marketing messages
                                • The consumer
                                  • Frozen food is bought near universally
                                    • Figure 1: Types of frozen food purchased in the last three months, July 2016
                                  • Value and convenience are key drivers for opting for frozen food
                                    • Figure 2: Reasons for buying frozen food, July 2016
                                  • Defrosting and pack size are barriers, one in three non-buyers cite none
                                    • Figure 3: Reasons for not buying frozen food, July 2016
                                  • Driving footfall is a key challenge for frozen
                                    • Figure 4: Frozen food shopping behaviours, July 2016
                                  • Appealing to scratch cooks remains a challenge
                                    • Figure 5: Attitudes towards frozen food, July 2016
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Frozen food struggles to appeal to the large pool of scratch-cooks
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • A case for smaller packs as freezer space diminished by homes and households getting smaller
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Price promotions outside the frozen aisle can help to address key challenge of driving footfall
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Frozen food benefits in lean times
                                                        • Scratch-cooking poses challenges to frozen food
                                                          • UK housing trend puts a squeeze on freezer space
                                                            • Focus on food waste should support frozen food
                                                              • Rise of top-up shopping could challenge frozen
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Economic downturn benefited frozen food
                                                                  • Shoppers look to chilled when their budget allows it
                                                                    • Uncertainty awaits the market
                                                                      • Scratch-cooking trend poses challenges to frozen food
                                                                        • UK housing trend puts a squeeze on freezer space
                                                                          • Focus on food waste should support frozen food
                                                                            • Rise of top-up shopping could challenge frozen
                                                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • Frozen food launches jump in 2015 fuelled by Iceland
                                                                                • Birds Eye is leading brand by NPD
                                                                                  • Premium activity continues in 2015
                                                                                    • Leading frozen food players up their adspend
                                                                                      • Quality and food waste avoidance are key messages
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • Frozen food launches jump in 2015
                                                                                          • Figure 6: Frozen food’s share of total UK food launches (excl. ice cream), 2012-16
                                                                                        • Iceland fuels activity with range revamp
                                                                                          • Tesco, Asda and Morrisons also contribute to rise in frozen launches
                                                                                            • Birds Eye is leading brand by NPD
                                                                                              • Frozen aisle attracts new brands
                                                                                                • Figure 7: Leading companies by frozen food NPD (sorted by 2015), 2012-16
                                                                                              • Convenience claims are more common in frozen than all food NPD
                                                                                                • Convenience needs to be prominently communicated
                                                                                                  • Looking to scratch-cooking associations
                                                                                                    • Bernard Matthews’ Go Create positions cooked poultry as an ingredient
                                                                                                      • Alternative formats move away from traditional ready meals
                                                                                                        • Premium activity continues in 2015
                                                                                                          • Exotic ingredients
                                                                                                            • Provenance and artisan cues
                                                                                                              • Young’s expansion of Gastro range shows confidence in premium tier
                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                • Leading frozen food players up their adspend
                                                                                                                  • Figure 8: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure frozen food, by selected advertisers, 2012-16
                                                                                                                • A focus on quality
                                                                                                                  • Iceland looks to authentic provenance …
                                                                                                                    • … and recommendations from “real mums”
                                                                                                                      • Dr. Oetker turns to sampling to prove its taste credentials
                                                                                                                        • McCain puts its cooking centre stage
                                                                                                                          • Pushing the no-waste benefit
                                                                                                                            • Sainsbury’s looks to food bloggers to showcase frozen food recipes
                                                                                                                              • Birds Eye looks to make frozen savings tangible
                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                  • Frozen food is bought near-universally
                                                                                                                                    • Value and convenience are key drivers for opting for frozen food
                                                                                                                                      • Defrosting and pack size are barriers, one in three non-buyers cite none
                                                                                                                                        • Driving footfall is a key challenge for frozen
                                                                                                                                          • High interest in frozen food meal deals
                                                                                                                                            • Appealing to scratch cooks remains a challenge
                                                                                                                                              • Consumers struggle to navigate the frozen food aisle
                                                                                                                                              • Purchase of Frozen Food

                                                                                                                                                • Frozen food is bought near-universally
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 9: Types of frozen food purchased in the last three months, July 2016
                                                                                                                                                • 45-54s and families are key buyers
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 10: Repertoire of types of frozen food purchased in the last three months, by age group, July 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Buying Frozen Food

                                                                                                                                                • Value is key driver for opting for frozen food
                                                                                                                                                  • Importance of value as driver leaves frozen food vulnerable to trading up
                                                                                                                                                    • Focusing on food waste could help strengthen value proposition
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 11: Reasons for buying frozen food, July 2016
                                                                                                                                                    • Convenience prompts many to buy frozen food
                                                                                                                                                      • Over-55s are most likely to buy frozen food as a fall-back option
                                                                                                                                                        • Nutrient retention compels few buyers
                                                                                                                                                        • Reasons for Not Buying Frozen Food

                                                                                                                                                          • One in three non-buyers cite none of the common barriers to frozen
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Reasons for not buying frozen food, July 2016
                                                                                                                                                          • Defrosting is a barrier
                                                                                                                                                            • Large pack sizes an obstacle for small households
                                                                                                                                                              • Young people are put off by processed feel
                                                                                                                                                                • Sampling should help to win over young adults
                                                                                                                                                                • Frozen Food Shopping Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                  • Driving footfall is a key challenge for frozen
                                                                                                                                                                    • Most shoppers only visit frozen aisle for a reason
                                                                                                                                                                      • Frozen aisle gets limited browsers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Promotions beyond the aisle can remind shoppers of frozen
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Frozen food shopping behaviours, July 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Lack of freezer space a limiting factor
                                                                                                                                                                          • High interest in frozen food meal deals
                                                                                                                                                                            • Potential for high-quality ingredients to add value
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Frozen Food

                                                                                                                                                                              • See-though packaging is important
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 14: Attitudes towards frozen food, July 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • Frozen is a good fit for international foods
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appealing to scratch-cooks remains a challenge
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lack of confidence a key barrier …
                                                                                                                                                                                    • … particularly for younger age groups
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers struggle to navigate the frozen food aisle
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Change in frozen food launches by major segment, 2012-15 and 2014-15
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Share of NPD in the UK frozen food segment, by selected claims, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Share of NPD in the UK food market, by selected claims, 2012-16

                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Attitudes towards Frozen Food - UK - September 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)