Free-from foods frozen awards point to future growth

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Free-from innovations could help maintain the long-term growth of frozen food, says the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).

Companies are increasingly developing high-quality frozen free-from products, as highlighted at the recent BFFF awards. For the second year running, the BFFF Retail Product of the Year went to a free-from product: in 2019, Yorica’s Double Chocolate Cookie 14 Allergen Free Frozen Dessert took the title, and now Crown Foods No Duck Chinese Selection product holds the accolade.

Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive, said: “Although lockdown has undoubtedly given frozen a sales boost, it has also introduced the category to younger consumers who are looking to improve their own health and that of the environment. I’m confident the quality of frozen free-from, plant-based and meat-free products has helped attract this new generation of frozen shoppers who will drive continued growth post-pandemic.”

It’s not just the free-from category performing well; Kantar figures reveal frozen sector overall outperformed the total grocery market over a 52-week period, increasing by 14.4% in value and 11.5% in volume. This is compared to 11.5% in value and 7.9% in volume for total grocery. The frozen category has also outperformed the fresh and chilled in value.

The surge in sales continues the trend first reported by BFFF a year ago, when data revealed British shoppers spent an extra £131 million on frozen in four weeks, ahead of the first lockdown. 

Harrow added: “It’s encouraging to see a continuation of the success we saw in 2020. With the ongoing innovation we’re seeing from both start-ups and mainstream players in the market, I’m confident retail sales will remain strong and consumer enthusiasm for frozen will continue.”

The search is now on for the next BFFF retail and foodservice product award winners, and companies of all sizes are invited to submit new, innovative products. The 2021 awards will feature new awards, with foodservice entries available at a reduced rate due to the pandemic.