by Birds Eye
Dec 15th, 2021
7 mins
BFFF
  • 34% of retailers have witnessed increased shopper demand for the frozen category over the last 12 months[1]
  • Demand for meat-free and free-from products has driven many retailers to expand their offering, with 81% of retailers now stocking ‘free-from, plant-based and meat alternative meal centres’[2]
  • 39% of retailers have reported that their biggest challenge when it comes to frozen food in their stores is not having enough space[3]

 

New research from Birds Eye has revealed the biggest trends and challenges that convenience retailers face within the frozen food category. Having conducted a similar survey last year, Birds Eye has worked with KAM Media once again to understand how it can support retailers to drive their frozen food sales in 2022.

 

Through a dedicated survey of 200 independent UK retailers, the findings point to sustained high consideration for frozen food within the category through the last year. 1-in-3 retailers (34%) have seen increased shopper demand for frozen over the last 12 months[4], with a quarter (25%) of retailers intending to invest further in their frozen category in 2022 – a growth of 6% points compared with last year’s survey results[5].

 

The study also explored the potential barriers to expansion that many retailers face, with 39% of respondents citing insufficient space for additional freezers the biggest challenge to growing frozen sales in their store[6]. A large number of retailers are also missing out on new consumer trends and shopper demands, with 23% sticking with the products they’ve always stocked[7].

 

Joss Bamber, Head of Convenience at Birds Eye, commented: “2021 has proven the important role that retailers play in supporting their local communities, with a major part of that being the services and products they provide. Demand for frozen products within the convenience channel is here to stay, so there is a definite need for retailers to prioritise their frozen range in store, ensuring they are stocking the right products to capitalise on a real sales growth area.

 

“As leaders of the frozen food category, we’re in an important position to support independent retailers with the right category advice and planograms that can help their freezers to work as hard for them as possible. Instore space is always at a premium for store owners, so the challenge for retailers is utilising what little freezer space there already is to ensure maximum frozen sales. It’s crucial that retailers are making informed decisions on the best products to stock, so our advice is always to listen to what customers are asking for, stock the core bestsellers and top-up with new products that will excite and attract shoppers to the category.”

 

The booming plant-based and free-from segment looks set to continue growing in 2022. 81% of retailers now stock ‘free-from, plant-based and meat alternative meal centres’, as growing demand drives appetite for products that can help shoppers meet their dietary and lifestyle needs[8].

 

“With Veganuary just around the corner, many shoppers will be looking for convenient, healthy and cost-effective plant-based options that can be easily added to their diets,” Bamber continues. “Birds Eye’s Green Cuisine range has performed exceptionally well within the channel over the last year, helping convenience retailers to capitalise on the frozen meat-free sector growth of +50.5% over the last two years[9].”

 

[1] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[2] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[3] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[4] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[5] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[6] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[7] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[8] KAM Media audit of 200 UK retailers, conducted November 2021

[9] Nielsen Scantrack, Total Coverage, frozen meat-free, w/e 09.10.21

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