According to the BFFF, the 12-week figures to 19 March indicate that volume sales rose by more than 2.5 million tonnes compared to the same period last year, while value sales in the frozen food segment were up by 9.5%.
This equates to an additional £273 million being spend in the British frozen food sector, an increase that has largely been driven by inflation.
In terms of individual categories within the frozen food segment, vegetables, meat and poultry, potato products, ready meals and savoury foods all saw a jump in volume in the 12-week period, however other categories such as ice cream and confectionery saw volumes drop back.
“I am delighted to see that the frozen food market has returned to growth in the first quarter of 2023," commented Rupert Ashby, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation. "Our members have been working incredibly hard under huge pressure of rising costs to make sure that consumers can still find the best quality products with unrivalled value for money in the frozen aisle of their supermarket."
Fresh And Chilled
Growth in the frozen category comes at the expense of fresh and chilled foods, which saw volume sales fall by 5.0% in the same period, the BFFF noted.
“The cost of living crisis has had a significant impact on consumer spending habits over the winter months, which has likely driven sales of frozen food," Ashby said, adding that he was confident that many shoppers will "now regularly return to the frozen aisle during their weekly shop as more people experience the exceptional quality and taste of frozen food".