Demand for Frozen Food at U.K. C-Stores Grows

Three-quarters of retailers say they have sold more frozen foods this year. 

December 16, 2020

LONDON—Convenience retailers have seen a surprising boost in frozen food sales this year, with 74% registering higher demand in the category and 42% indicating frozen food outgrew all other categories, according to a new Birds Eye survey, Talking Retail reports.

In addition, more than a third of stores have increased freezer space to keep up with demand. Ready meals and meal accompaniments have generated the largest increases. The survey, conducted with KAM Media analysts, showcases how frozen food demand has skyrocketed since March.

“The lockdown period has served as a way to emphasize the role that independent retailers play in supporting society, as well as demonstrating that the frozen food category poses a real, long-term opportunity for them to expand their shoppers’ repertoire, amplified further by the growth of home deliveries,” said Chris West, channel controller at Birds Eye.

Nearly one in five convenience stores (19%) said they would invest more in the frozen food category in the coming weeks. To run a successful frozen food section, West recommended having a core range, dedicated meal deal space and an understanding of key year-round events. Price-marked packs (PMPs) will also be more important during the U.K. recession.

“Health is something many shoppers focus on when in-store in January, so by being able to clearly communicate product value through the PMPs, as well as encouraging trial with promotions, we are helping retailers meet shopper needs at a crucial time of year,” West said.