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UK Chilled Foods Market Driven by Demand for Health Quality Convenience

15 January 2015

The UK market for chilled foods has shown growth of 3.6 per cent in 2014 and this is expected to grow to more than 15 per cent over the next five year.

This growth was spread across eight savoury market sectors, while the chilled cakes and desserts category saw sales were restricted by the media’s focus on the dangers of sugar overconsumption.

According to Chilled Foods 2015, a new Market Update from market intelligence provider Key Note, not only does this reinforce the current popularity of savoury foods over sweet, but it also highlights the wider market’s overall success at exploiting current market demands.

Across the whole chilled foods market, for instance, the issue of health is exerting a key driving influence on buying behaviour.

The UK consumer base is becoming increasingly health conscious based on regular exposure to dietary advice and growing concerns over the obesity crisis.

During the week, when the demand for convenience is also most pronounced, consumers are increasingly trying to eat more healthily, making indulgences over the weekend more justifiable.

The breadth of the chilled foods market ensures that it is well positioned to exploit both aspects of this trend; healthy products, such as chilled salad, fresh soup and chilled, value-added poultry and seafood, provide popular meal components during the week, while less healthy products, such as sliced cooked meat, chilled pizza and chilled quiches, flans and pastry, provide potential weekend treats.

Additionally, regardless of when products are consumed, the prepared nature of chilled foods ensures an element of convenience compared with cooking meals from scratch, which is appealing to consumers, many of whom are living increasingly fast-paced lives.

Consumer trust remains low in the UK food marketplace, with concerns over the potential for food fraud within overly complex supply chains remaining high.

This is affecting the relationship between price and quality within the context of a gradually developing economic recovery.

Chilled food products are widely perceived to be of superior quality to frozen competitors, and consumers are increasingly willing to pay a little extra for this quality.

At the premium end of the market, organic sales have grown, while brands such as Charlie Bigham’s and Pizza Express have also performed strongly despite the dominance of own-label products in the marketplace.

Nevertheless, the rate of inflation remains high and some consumers still cannot afford to trade up to the chilled foods market, limiting potential sales.

Given that inflation is projected to remain high over the next five years, forecast market growth must therefore be partially attributed to the rising cost of food. In addition through, the market is also expected to perform strongly, as the demands for health quality and convenience continue to develop.

At a corporate level, investment in new product developments (NPDs) will become more affordable, bolstering potential market progression.

Key Note forecasts healthy growth of 15.3 per cent between 2015 and 2019.

December 2014

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