Frozen foods: a macro-trend with untapped potential

A natural category with great potential
January 2022
Frozen foods: a macro-trend with untapped potential

Frozen foods represent a market of almost 3.4 billion euros in Spain. A category that grew strongly during the worst part of the pandemic and has remained positive in recent months. Figures and habits show, therefore, that this has been - and will continue to be - a good opportunity to show consumers the advantages of this type of product.

Natural and convenient

However, the potential of the main advantages of this food category has not been fully exploited; frozen products do not need additives or preservatives to maintain (or prolong) their shelf life. Avoiding this habit will make this type of product much more natural - and in some cases more nutritious - than refrigerated products themselves. The naturalness of this category still has a lot of potential to be communicated and leveraged. In addition, the convenience of these products has also become evident, as it has helped families to have very convenient products at their fingertips and for longer periods of time. In addition, we are seeing very relevant advances in meal solutions, such as new ready meals or much more variety in snacks. 

For example, Pescanova, one of our customers, has recently launched a range of ready-to-eat products in different markets with good results. There is also now a very interesting development of frozen fried eggs, mainly for hotels, breakfast and catering, but also for those who do not want to cook.

image: @bkaraivanov


Another major food trend, not only in the frozen market but in general, is products of natural origin, designed for a consumer who is reducing meat consumption for both health and sustainability reasons. In Spain alone, 13% of adults are already veggies (the sum of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians, the latter being the most numerous of the three: 10.8%), according to our study "The Green Revolution 2021". Most of the new brands that are developing or betting on this market have opted for frozen foods as their main sales channel. 

The Vegetarian Butcher, the brand that Unilever is launching internationally, has a large part of its offer on supermarket frozen shelves. These brands take advantage of the fact that their products do not need preservatives and have a much longer shelf life.

New consumers

Another great opportunity for the frozen foods sector lies in the new generations. Millennials, worldwide, are embracing frozen products with more interest than previous generations. 

They are a public more open to new recipes and not only do they not have much time to prepare them, but they are not very skilled with frying pans. Therefore, this target group demands a greater variety of gastronomic proposals, also taking into account other factors such as packaging and respective portions more adapted to their homes, as they tend to live in smaller and often individual apartments. 

Therefore, smaller portions and more flexible packaging are decisive and critical factors for this consumer. We are talking about a category that is already very relevant in consumption, it is true, but which still has much more growth potential, as it is aligned with global macro trends: natural, convenient and tasty products.

Main image: @designerdev