The retail frozen food sector finished 2017 on a high, maintaining a sales growth that saw it exceed the £6 billion milestone in the second half of the year.
According to new statistics from research firm Kantar Worldpanel covering the 52 week period ending December 3, the value of frozen food sales was up 6.1 per cent year-on-year.
Volume also increased two per cent, creating an additional £64 million worth of value for the sector.
Star performing categories were savoury food, which went up 8.8 per cent in value, closely followed by ice cream at 8.5 per cent.
Savoury food includes frozen bread, frozen poultry and meat products, savoury bakery, and vegetarian products.
Frozen vegetables and fish also recorded value growth of 7.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Savoury food was also the star performer in terms of volume, up 7.2 per cent over the 12-month period, and confectionery also did well after increasing 6.7 per cent in volume.
“It’s great news to see the value of the category continuing to grow at a faster rate,” British Frozen Food Federation chief executive John Hyman said.
“The growth is in part due to the continuing premiumisation of frozen food and a growing awareness by consumers that frozen can be as good as or better quality than fresh and is often superior value.”
He added: “A lot of work has been spent communicating the benefits of frozen to consumers, with focused and innovative marketing campaigns from brands and retailers contributing significantly to the change in consumer perceptions that we’ve seen in recent years.
“Consumers are much more tuned-in to the benefits of frozen food including waste reduction, convenience and health and are discovering the breadth of choice in high-quality, on-trend products that are available to them with little preparation at home.
“Increasingly, consumers are choosing the premium products on offer in the frozen aisle to try and replicate restaurant quality food at home, and this has contributed to this value milestone.”