In a Growing Frozen Food Market C-stores Must Make Sure They Aren’t Left Behind

According to the British Frozen Food Federation, the UK frozen food total market value is currently £8.13bn and is forecast to grow 2% over the next 5 years. However, our data states that category penetration within the convenience sector has shrunk, and is currently at its lowest level since 2004, driven by increased competition from other channels, namely online and the discounters. It is therefore an extremely important time for the convenience sector to understand frozen foods in order to improve performance and compete.

A big issue in convenience is how shoppers perceive the range pre-shop. The top 5 frozen products a shopper expects to see in a convenience store differs from the products shoppers would want to stock up their freezer with, suggesting shoppers do not expect to get what they need from their local c-store. It is especially important to manage pre-shop perceptions because 46% of frozen food shoppers have made a decision on what products they want to purchase before entering a store, they will therefore not enter a store where they believe the range won’t meet their pre-planned demand.

Our data suggests, once in store, product availability of this range will be key, as availability is the number one in store importance for frozen food shoppers. Ensuring availability should be a joint responsibility of both suppliers and retailers, as both risk losing out if a product is unavailable. For example, one third of frozen food shoppers would switch to a different brand if their preferred were unavailable, whereas over one fifth would leave the store and buy it elsewhere.

Offering inspiration in store will also be important, as many shoppers are currently failing to buy because they find the range uninspiring. With over three fifths of shoppers purchasing for a quick and easy meal solution, suppliers and retailers should work together to offer inspiring minimal preparation recipes that involve currently stocked frozen products. This will not only appease shoppers, but also help suppliers and retailers stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive market.

Do you purchase frozen food from this store for any of the following meal occasions?