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Frozen foods future in added value.

Ready meals continue as major growth sector

In the international frozen food industry, added-value products are forecast to make greater contributions to market values as mature markets come out of recession, according to a new report* just published by London-based market analyst, Euromonitor.

Ready meals will continue to be the major growth sector in the short term, with a strong emphasis on single serve portions, as well as international recipe dishes, says Euromonitor.

Microwave ownership boosts less saturated markets

The research, (which focuses on the seven key markets, the US, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Japan and Italy) shows that growth in the less saturated frozen foods markets is assured, led by growth in microwave oven and freezer ownership and by new product development.

Italy and Japan to lead industry growth

In the Japanese market, although image is still a problem, frozen foods are forecast to expand by around 7% per annum in value to 1997. The Italian market will also expand appreciably, fuelled by developments in the retail sector, especially the growth of supermarkets, with market value increasing by 25% between 1993 and 1997.

U.S. is the Largest Major Market

Euromonitor's figures show that the US market, valued at $13,676 million in 1992, was more than double the size of the UK and French markets, and six times larger than the Japanese and Italian markets.

Frozen foods: comparative market sizes in US$, 1992 US$ million, at 1992 exchange rates
US 13,676
UK 5,670
France 5,379
Spain 3,558
Germany 3,243
Japan 2,372
Italy 2,103

Source: Euromonitor Market Direction

Italian market value up 41% between 1988 and 1992

Five of the seven major markets examined by the report grew substantially between 1988 and 1992, led by the Italian market growing by 41%, compared with rises in Spain of 39%, Germany 37% and 35% in France. This contrasts sharply with an increase of only 5% in the U.S., caused by intense price competition.

Future prospects

Euromonitor predicts that frozen vegetables will continue to account for a declining share of sales, with strong competition from speciality and prepared fresh vegetables. Frozen meat and poultry will also lose share.

The main multinational competition will be in the ready meal sector, which will also benefit from technological improvements that will increase the quality and speed of preparation. Unilever and Nestle will be challenged by the likes of Campbells, Heinz and Philip Morris.
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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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