2021
9
UK Attitudes towards Frozen Foods Market Report 2021
2021-11-20T03:15:53+00:00
OX1046013
2195
145399
[{"name":"Consumer Attitudes","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/consumers-trends\/consumer-attitudes"},{"name":"Frozen Food","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/food\/convenience-foods\/frozen-food"}]
Report
en_GB
“The COVID-19 pandemic drove strong sales growth for frozen foods in 2020; however, brands will need to disrupt shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen if they are to continue to…

UK Attitudes towards Frozen Foods Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Attitudes Towards Frozen Foods market report identifies consumer attitudes towards frozen foods, trends in frozen food and consumer barrier to buying frozen foods in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the UK Attitudes Towards Frozen Foods market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape 

Frozen food sales grew strongly in 2020 and for much of the first half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 restrictions shifting meal occasions to the home and consumers stockpiling long-life products. Sales started to fall away over late 2021 and into 2022.

  • Own-label frozen food brands account for 58% of category value sales, and 65% of volumes in September 2021.
  • 54% of category buyers would choose a frozen food product with such labelling over one without.
  • Value sales of frozen food are expected to rise by 11.5% to just under £6.1 billion over 2021-26, with volume sales falling by 0.3% to 1.6 billion kg.

Frozen food products with ethical certifications and labelling merit further explorations, as ethical claims are extremely rare in the frozen foods sector. Innovation here would also help companies to tap into consumers’ increased ethical awareness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future Market Trends in the Frozen Food Market

Shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen, with many visiting the frozen aisle last and only when they have specific products in mind to buy. This, along with spending little time browsing, makes it difficult for frozen foods to gain share of consumers’ grocery budget. Falling birth rates and the decline in the population of under-10s will also impede sales over 2021-26, given that families are key users of frozen food.

There is a need for more health-led NPD in the frozen foods category given consumers’ heightened health consciousness since the COVID-19 outbreak, with the impending new restrictions on marketing and in-store promotions of HFSS foods adding urgency to this for certain segments.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Food and Foodservice market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on value and volume sales of frozen foods.
  • Trends in frozen food launches and opportunities for further innovation.
  • Buying patterns and shopping behaviours relating to frozen foods.
  • Consumers’ top reasons for, and top barriers to, buying frozen foods.
  • Consumers’ attitudes towards frozen foods and the environment.

Covered in this report

Products: meat and poultry (processed and unprocessed), meat substitutes, fish, potato products (chips, roast potatos), vegetables, pizza, prepared meals, bread products, pastries (sweet and savoury), desserts, other meal accompaniments (eg Yorkshire puddings)

Brands: Nomad Foods (Birds Eye, Aunt Bessie’s, Goodfella’s), McCain Foods, Karro Food Group (Young’s), Oetker Group (Dr Oetker, Chicago Town), Marlow Foods (Quorn), Hain Daniels (Linda McCartney), Crosta & Mollica, Lidl, Waitrose, Richmond, Greggs, Aldi, Itsu, Pret, Ed’s Easy Diner, Piccolino, Iceland, Gino D’Acampo, Hula Hoops, Cathedral Ciy, Vimto, Napolina, Beroni, Del Monte, Ginsters, Deliciously Ella, Gosh!, Slimming World.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Alice Baker, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The COVID-19 pandemic drove strong sales growth for frozen foods in 2020; however, brands will need to disrupt shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen if they are to continue to grow sales in the ‘Next Normal’. Frozen foods with ethical attributes warrant further attention as these attract strong consumer interest but are currently underexplored on the market.
Alice Baker
Senior Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on frozen foods
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on frozen foods, 2021
                • The market
                  • COVID-19 sends frozen sales soaring in 2020
                    • Growth in frozen starts to slow in 2021
                      • Frozen food sales for 2022-26 to remain above their pre-pandemic levels
                        • Figure 2: COVID-19 scenario value forecasts for retail sales of frozen foods, 2016-2026
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Own-label dominates sales in the frozen foods sector
                          • Figure 3: Leading brands’ value sales in the UK retail frozen foods market, 2018/19-2020/21
                        • Birds Eye and McCain gain from uptick in meals at home, Aunt Bessie’s loses out from curbs on socialising
                          • Health claims are underexplored in frozen foods
                            • Multiple brands crossover into frozen during 2020-21
                              • Frozen foods advertising focuses on quality and family connections in 2020/21
                                • The consumer
                                  • Buying of frozen foods is near-universal, with many buying from multiple segments
                                    • Figure 4: Purchase of frozen foods, by type, 2021
                                  • Convenience motivates buying of frozen products, but need for more ethical emphasis
                                    • Figure 5: Reasons for buying frozen foods, 2021
                                  • Consumers’ lack of awareness limits sales of frozen foods, with some quality concerns also
                                    • Figure 6: Barriers to buying frozen foods, 2021
                                  • Need to disrupt shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen, with untapped potential in ethical
                                    • Figure 7: Behaviours relating to frozen foods, 2021
                                  • Loose frozen produce and bake-at-home international sweet baked goods attract interest
                                    • Figure 8: Interest in frozen food innovation, 2021
                                  • Need to strike a balance between convenience and sustainability for frozen food packaging
                                    • Figure 9: Attitudes towards frozen foods, 2021
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Disrupt shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen to build on COVID-19 sales growth
                                    • Frozen foods with ethical attributes warrant further attention
                                      • Need for a stronger health focus in frozen foods
                                      • Market Size and Performance

                                        • COVID-19 sees frozen food sales soar
                                          • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on frozen foods, 2021
                                        • Lockdown boost motors strong sales growth for frozen foods in 2020
                                          • Figure 11: Retail market size for frozen foods, 2016-21
                                        • Frozen food sales surge in 2020 amid lockdowns and recession
                                          • Frozen food sales falter in 2021, but renewed financial pressures offer continued support to sales
                                          • Market Forecast

                                            • Frozen food sales for 2022-26 to remain above their pre-pandemic levels
                                              • Figure 12: Market forecast for retail value sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                              • Figure 13: Market forecast for retail volume sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                            • Increased rates of home working will continue to support sales over 2022-26
                                              • Decline in the child population will hinder sales
                                                • Further inflation expected for 2022-26
                                                  • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                    • Figure 14: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-25
                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                  • COVID-19 Scenario Performance

                                                    • Mintel’s approach to predicting the impact of COVID-19
                                                      • Fundamental differences in how COVID-19 is affecting consumer markets
                                                        • Only slight differences in outcomes between the three scenarios
                                                          • Figure 15: COVID-19 scenario value forecasts for retail sales of frozen foods, 2016-2026
                                                          • Figure 16: COVID-19 scenario volume forecasts for retail sales of frozen foods, 2016-2026
                                                        • Frozen foods to perform better in the event of extended disruption
                                                          • COVID-19 market disruption: risks and outcomes
                                                            • Figure 17: Summary of Mintel scenario expectations and the impact on the frozen food retail market, 2021
                                                        • Market Segmentation

                                                          • Uptick in meals at home boosts frozen meat, fish and sides in 2020
                                                            • Figure 18: Retail frozen food sales, by value and volume, by segment, 2019-21
                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                          • Disruptions to the food supply chain could boost frozen food sales in 2021-22
                                                            • Staff shortages hit multiple sectors of the food industry
                                                              • CO2 shortage causes problems
                                                                • Post-Brexit import checks on meat, poultry and seafood delayed twice
                                                                  • Pressure on household finances could favour frozen foods
                                                                    • HFSS regulations will affect some frozen food segments
                                                                      • Restrictions on in-store promotions to have only limited effect on frozen foods
                                                                        • Advertising restrictions will have a bigger impact
                                                                          • Decline in the child population will erode frozen food sales
                                                                            • Need for further NPD in smaller formats for single households
                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                              • Own-label dominates sales in the frozen foods sector
                                                                                • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen foods retail frozen foods market, 2018/19-2020/21
                                                                              • Mixed results for Nomad brands in 2020
                                                                                • McCain benefits from the closure of the foodservice sector
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                  • Health claims are rare in frozen foods
                                                                                    • Figure 20: New frozen food^ product launches, by ‘minus’ claims, UK, 2018-21
                                                                                    • Figure 21: New frozen food product launches, by ‘plus’ claims, UK, 2018-21
                                                                                  • Dr Oetker unveils non-HFSS pizza range
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Example of Dr Oetker’s The Good Baker frozen pizzas range, 2021
                                                                                  • Ethical claims are an untapped opportunity in frozen foods
                                                                                    • Figure 23: New frozen food product launches, by ethical claims, UK, 2018-21 (sorted by 2020)
                                                                                  • Some brands explore plastic alternatives
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Example of a frozen food product launch referencing plastic-free packaging, 2021
                                                                                  • Young’s redesigned frozen fish packaging spells out the environmental benefits
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Example of Young’s frozen fish product with redesigned, reduced packaging, 2021
                                                                                  • Retailers look to tangibly demonstrate their sustainable credentials…
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Examples of own-label frozen food product launches with sustainable claims, 2021
                                                                                  • …while leading frozen food brands make environmental pledges
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Birds Eye frozen peas with the WWF logo on-pack, 2021
                                                                                  • M&S extends its surplus frozen bread initiative
                                                                                    • Vegan claims rise over 2018-21
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Share of UK frozen food launches with vegan/no animal ingredients claims, 2018-21
                                                                                    • Leading brands launch vegan pizzas
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Dr Oetker’s first vegan pizza, 2021
                                                                                    • Richmond and Greggs bring meat-free sausages to the frozen aisle
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Examples of frozen vegan sausage product launches, 2020
                                                                                    • Competition heats up in fish alternatives
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Examples of frozen plant-based breaded/battered fish alternatives, 2021
                                                                                    • Foodservice operators extend into retail products
                                                                                      • Figure 32: New additions to Itsu’s frozen gyozas, range, 2020-21
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Examples of frozen sweet baked goods launches with coffee shop/restaurant branding, 2021
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Examples of the Iceland-exclusive Piccolino range, 2021
                                                                                    • Link-ups with chefs should boost quality associations
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Examples of frozen food product launches from famous chefs , 2021
                                                                                    • Frozen food brands draw inspiration from foodservice trends
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Example of McCain’s new product launches inspired by foodservice trends, 2020-21
                                                                                    • Chilled and ambient brands extend into frozen
                                                                                      • Iceland teams up with various brands
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Examples of frozen food launches from chilled/ambient brands exclusive to Iceland, 2021
                                                                                      • Frozen pasta launches claim to recreate the fine-dining experience
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Examples of frozen pasta launches, 2020-21
                                                                                      • Napolina’s frozen pasta sauces should appeal
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Example from Napolina’s frozen pasta sauce range, 2020
                                                                                      • Iceland and Del Monte collaborate on frozen fruit range
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Examples of the Del Monte frozen fruit range, 2021
                                                                                      • Ginsters’ premium pasty highlights its British provenance
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Ginsters Frozen Steak Slices emphasize British provenance
                                                                                      • Expansion in frozen free-from products
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Examples of frozen free-from food product launches, 2020-21
                                                                                      • Own-label leads on frozen food launch activity in 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 43: New frozen food product launches, by top ten companies, 2018-21 (sorted by 2020)
                                                                                      • Iceland commemorates its 50th anniversary with product revivals…
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Example of Iceland’s range of products revived to mark its 50th anniversary, 2020
                                                                                      • …and introduces new labelling system to expand its user base
                                                                                        • Lidl explores various international cuisines in 2021 frozen food launches
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Example of Lidl’s range of frozen food products with Caribbean flavours, 2021
                                                                                        • Frozen food brands look to capitalise on changed meal occasions in 2020-21
                                                                                          • Further potential for frozen food products targeted at lunch occasions
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Examples of frozen food product launches targeted at lunch occasions, 2020-1
                                                                                          • Aunt Bessie’s revives its heart-shaped Yorkshire puddings for Mother’s Day 2021…
                                                                                            • …and reformulates its roast potatoes as it looks to tap into roast dinner revival
                                                                                            • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                • Birds Eye supports its fish and poultry ranges
                                                                                                  • TV advert for fish highlights freezing’s role in preserving freshness and nutrients
                                                                                                    • Chicken adverts emphasize versatility and exciting flavours
                                                                                                      • Scampi adverts draw on the product’s history
                                                                                                        • Young’s highlights its role in inventing scampi and targets the lunchtime occasion
                                                                                                          • Whitby puts the focus on British provenance
                                                                                                            • Leading brands promote frozen foods as integral to family meals
                                                                                                              • McCain calls out its partnership with children’s charity
                                                                                                                • Aunt Bessie’s celebrates the human spirit and emotional connections
                                                                                                                  • Iceland portrays its own-label range as offering high quality as well as good value
                                                                                                                  • Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

                                                                                                                    • Shift to at-home meals boosts frozen food sales in 2020
                                                                                                                      • Continuing scratch-cooking trend offers opportunities for further growth post-pandemic
                                                                                                                        • Consumer caution to continue to support frozen food sales for remainder of 2021
                                                                                                                          • Growth in online retail helps consumers expand their frozen food repertoires
                                                                                                                            • Boost to freezer ownership offers growth potential for frozen foods
                                                                                                                              • Consumers’ heightened health focus necessitates further health-led NPD
                                                                                                                                • Highlight frozen foods’ eco credentials to capitalise on consumers’ increased environmental consciousness
                                                                                                                                • Purchase of Frozen Foods

                                                                                                                                  • Buying of frozen foods is near-universal
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Purchase of frozen foods, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Vegetables and potato products are the foods most widely bought frozen
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Purchase of frozen foods, by type, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Some types of frozen foods are more reliant on birth rates than others
                                                                                                                                    • A quarter of adults buy seven or more types of frozen foods
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Repertoire of frozen food types purchased, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Reasons for Buying Frozen Foods

                                                                                                                                    • Ease and speed are the top reasons for buying frozen foods
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Reasons for buying frozen foods, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Highlight quick cooking times on-pack and on-shelf
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Examples of frozen and chilled products with cooking times displayed prominently on-pack, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Make it clearer to consumers that some foods can be cooked from frozen
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Example of the Iceland Cook From Frozen range, 2021
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Aldi frozen dessert highlights short defrosting time on-pack, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Focus on food waste reduction to boost sales of frozen foods
                                                                                                                                    • Barriers to Buying Frozen Foods

                                                                                                                                      • Need to raise consumer awareness of the range of frozen foods available
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Barriers to buying frozen foods, 2021
                                                                                                                                      • ‘Switch and save’ suggestions should chime in the current climate
                                                                                                                                        • Under-35s are more likely to be doubtful over frozen foods’ quality
                                                                                                                                          • Give details of provenance and production methods to boost quality associations
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: International examples of frozen products giving details of provenance and production methods to project a high-quality image, 2021
                                                                                                                                        • Behaviours Relating to Frozen Foods

                                                                                                                                          • Need to disrupt shoppers’ habitual approach to buying frozen
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Behaviours relating to frozen foods, 2021
                                                                                                                                          • Use in-store displays to encourage people to visit the frozen aisle
                                                                                                                                            • Make the frozen aisle more visually appealing
                                                                                                                                              • Frozen foods with ethical attributes warrant further exploration
                                                                                                                                                • Ethical attributes can help to boost products’ quality image
                                                                                                                                                  • Call out ethical policies more strongly in marketing
                                                                                                                                                    • Make tangible ethical claims on-pack to win over shoppers
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: International examples of frozen product launches with Rainforest Alliance certification, 2021
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: International examples of frozen food product launches with on-pack references to companies’ ethical policies, 2021
                                                                                                                                                    • Charity links are underexplored territory for frozen foods
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Example of McCain frozen chips highlighting its charity links on-pack, 2021
                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in Frozen Food Innovation

                                                                                                                                                    • Loose frozen produce should prove compelling amid public focus on the environment
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Interest in frozen food innovation, 2021
                                                                                                                                                    • Loose frozen produce can appeal where freezer space is limited
                                                                                                                                                      • Extend refill schemes to include frozen produce
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Loose frozen vegetables on sale at Darts Farm in Devon, 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Bake-at-home international sweet baked goods appeal particularly to parents and younger adults
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Examples of own-label bake-at-home frozen cinnamon swirls, 2021
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: International examples of bake-at-home frozen sweet baked goods, 2020
                                                                                                                                                      • Explore regional specialities to maintain consumer engagement
                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Frozen Foods

                                                                                                                                                        • Need to strike a balance between convenience and sustainability for frozen food packaging
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes towards frozen foods, 2021
                                                                                                                                                        • Freezing presents challenges for combining resealability with sustainability
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: International example of a frozen food product with reduced plastic and reclosable packaging, 2021
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Central Forecast Methodology

                                                                                                                                                              • Market forecast and prediction intervals
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Market forecast and prediction intervals for retail value sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Market forecast and prediction intervals for retail volume sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                                                                                                                                              • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2021-26
                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – COVID Scenario Performance Methodology and Assumptions

                                                                                                                                                                • Scenario performance
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Scenario performance for retail value sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Scenario performance for retail volume sales of frozen foods, 2016-26
                                                                                                                                                                • Rapid COVID recovery, central and extended COVID disruption scenarios outline
                                                                                                                                                                  • Scenario methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Leading brand owners’ sales and share in the UK retail frozen foods market, 2018/19-2020/21

                                                                                                                                                                  About the report

                                                                                                                                                                  This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                                                                                                                                                                  Market

                                                                                                                                                                  Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                                                                                                                                                                  Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                  Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                                                                                                                                  Brand/Company

                                                                                                                                                                  Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                                                                                                                                  Data

                                                                                                                                                                  Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                                                                                                  *databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

                                                                                                                                                                  Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                                                                                                                  Click to show report
                                                                                                                                                                  2024 Sample Consumer Cover

                                                                                                                                                                  Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

                                                                                                                                                                  Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                                                                                                                  Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                                                                                                                  Contact us with your enquiry and our expert global team can help.

                                                                                                                                                                  Get in touch