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Frozen food retail market performs well.

Since the vote on 23rd June 2016 Brexit has dominated the UK Government and Business agenda After surveying our members in Autumn 2016, the biggest opportunity is to increase our exports; 47% of our members export, and of those 87% believe there is further opportunity to grow future exports. The biggest issue to members is the availability of labour. The food industry has an estimated 30% of valued employees from Europe, combined with record employment levels in the UK and a relatively low 4.7% unemployment rate, means there are significant concerns. On behalf of our members I've made these points to government, and we were delighted to have both Tim Render (Head of the Great British Food Unit, Defra) and Ian Wright (Director General, FDF) speak at our Brexit dedicated seminar in the autumn. We continue to work in close collaboration with the Government and FDF with regular meetings to make sure our members' opportunities and issues are raised and taken on board during ongoing negotiations.


Despite the backdrop of uncertainty over Brexit negotiations at our annual conference, Vince Cable commented that some of the best business decisions and investments are made during periods of highest uncertainty I

The current economic fundamentals of the UK are strong, with record employment levels, only 4.7% unemployment rate and robust consumer confidence. However, the depreciation of Sterling over the past year has created significant inflationary pressures for importers and opportunity for exporters. Whilst consumer confidence is currently solid, some economists fear that future inflation may exceed wage growth which may impact the economy.

I'm pleased to report that the UK frozen food market continues to perform well. The retail market is [pounds sterling]5.8 billion growing at +1.3% year-on-year (yoy), and foodservice market is strong at [pounds sterling]2.4 billion. At a category level within retail, frozen desserts and ice cream are the fastest growing categories with +7.1% yoy and +2.9% yoy respectively, with potato products growing +3.2% yoy and fish growing +2.6% yoy.

In future we expect the growth drivers in retail to be;

* Premiumisation (greater choice of the highest quality products)

* Health

* Online and home delivery

* Improved awareness of frozen minimising waste

Within health, frozen fruit is growing at +35% yay driven by the trend of smoothies for breakfast, and sweet potato growing at +119% yoy with plenty of future innovation planned.

Online growth of frozen is +8% yoy, is well ahead of the market, with consumers enjoying the convenience of online and home delivery. Online levels the merchandising "playing field" and consumers enjoy the full choice of frozen products available and tend to buy more new products and spend more money on frozen than normal. We expect the foodservice sector to remain buoyant with growth underpinned by the long-term trend of consumers eating out of home. Recent market analysis demonstrated that younger consumers are spending more out of home and are likely to continue this habit going forward. BFFF have recently launched Fantastic Frozen document which captures all the academic research and benefits of frozen to the foodservice sector. In addition, we created the Ice Cafe at the IFE exhibition with excellent chefs creating delicious food from frozen ingredients with fantastic feedback.


British Frozen Food Federation and Food Storage & Distribution Federation hosted a joint sold-out seminar on 16th May 2017, at Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham to give businesses all the information they need to safely manage ammonia refrigeration systems.

The seminar, aimed at managers, engineers and operational users of Ammonia within businesses, covered:

* HSE Enforcement strategy and legislative overview

* The key to compliance for end users

* Safe management of ammonia refrigeration systems (SMARS)

* Ammonia process safety management

* Compliance with DSEAR

* Why ammonia is such a good refrigerant

* Top non-conformances and how they can be rectified

* Emergency arrangements

HSE, Star Refrigeration, FSDF, Mercury Technologies and Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue all specialise in this area and provided the content for the event.

For more information, please contact or


We organise two thinking of joining seminars in the calendar year at different locations the first one in February takes place at Towcester Race course and the second in July takes place at Windsor to make it easier for our delegates to attend one or the other.

The next 'Thinking of Joining' Seminar will be held on Monday 3rd of July at the Castle hotel, Windsor, for companies thinking of joining BFFF and is sponsored, once again, by Daregal Gourmet.

This is an opportunity for potential new member companies to get to know BFFF better. The free event begins at 1pm with a buffet lunch followed by presentations from BFFF and Daregal.

Delegates will then be taken to Windsor Racecourse by riverboat taxi for an evening of networking and entertainment.


We're delighted to welcome two new members of the BFFF team. Claire Mathieson joined us as our new Admin Controller and our newest addition to BFFF is Simon Brentnall who has joined as our Head of Health and Safety.

By JOHN HYMAN, Chief Executive - British Frozen Federation

British Frozen Food Federation, Warwick House, Unit 7 Long Bennington Business Park, Main Road, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5JR
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Author:Hyman, John
Publication:Frozen & Chilled Foods
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2017
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