Opportunities for frozen foods set to grow in 2014
The outlook for frozen food in 2014 is positive across both foodservice and retail sectors, according to the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), as the UK economy starts to show signs of real recovery.
2013 was at times a difficult year for the food industry as food chain criminality rocked consumer confidence. However, despite this, decreased disposable incomes for consumers continued to highlight the benefits of frozen in terms of providing good quality, nutritious foods at a good value price point for both consumers and foodservice outlets.
As the economy continues to move slowly in the direction of recovery, there will continue to be a disparity between government claims of economy growth and real levels of disposable incomes. For frozen food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, this is an area of opportunity as consumers and chefs look for more affordable food sources that will enable them to plan ahead and reduce preparation time – and cost – but still provide good quality, tasty food.
Brian Young, director general of BFFF said: “I believe that the slow and steady recovery in the UK economy will continue. However, there will be a divergence between the media headlines and what consumers really feel. Disposable income will continue to be challenged, however, as we approach the next election in 2015 we may start to see some incentives offered by the government.
“In the immediate term, the beginning of recovery will continue to push people towards frozen food as they continue to find their income stretched. However, as economic growth begins to accelerate, as is predicted, we are likely to see new challenges emerging for our industry as we look to ensure consumers continue to recognise the benefits frozen food offers and don’t revert back to old habits.”
On the long term issues facing the industry, Mr Young added: “In the longer term as the economy improves, I predict that food security will continue to rise in prominence. The very real issue of the extremely high rate of food waste in our developed world’s supply chains will rise to the top of the agenda as the world moves on from balancing the books to thinking about how do we feed the planet in 2050.”