Chilled Food Sector Growing Year on Year

The trade body for the chilled food manufacturing sector, CFA, today reports a six per cent growth in the UK retail market. In 2011 the total sales in all retail chilled prepared food was £13,700,189,000 – an increase of £790m over 2010 confirming its position as one of the food industry’s most rapidly growing sectors. Even excluding retailed sandwiches, rolls, baguettes and wraps chilled food is currently worth £9.8bn pa having grown by 29 per cent (£2.16bn) since 2007. Chilled food represents some 13 per cent of the retail food market,

Chilled foods, such as prepared salads and ready meals are a staple of most fridges with the largest growth area being seen in salad and fruit. Spending on mixed tray salads is up by over one quarter (26 per cent) and on chilled prepared fruit it is up by 18 per cent. These foods reduce waste by cutting down the need for consumers to buy unnecessary or large amounts of ingredients (e.g. several different types of lettuce or fruit) which may only be used a bit at a time and which may then ultimately be wasted.

As Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Secretary General explain, busy lifestyles are prompting this rise: “We know that the average time spent preparing meals has fallen from two hours to just 20 minutes a day over the past two decades. And we are all too aware of the hectic lives we all lead. There is clearly a real need for food that is readily available and quick to prepare, but is also healthy, fresh and good to eat. Sales of stir fry products, for example, are up 11 per cent year on year.

“Businesses are clearly responding to consumer needs, with hundreds of new chilled foods coming onto the shelf every month.”

Data compiled by Kantar World Panel full breakdown 2007-2011

13 March 2012