categorywatching - Frozen 2023

Our Frozen 2023 categorywatching report is live on the tfp Trend Hub, covering the breadth of frozen foods. Read our key takeouts and how to access the report in full.

Traditionally frozen food isn't considered as premium because it's typically associated with chips, ice cream, chicken nuggets and pizzas, with the occasional bag of peas and spinach, perhaps. But as the cost of living continues to shape our budgets, the idea of buying frozen over fresh is becoming increasingly attractive to consumers. With the UK feeling the pinch in ways not seen in nearly half a century, the need to put the food on the table is causing a major shift in the stereotypical perceptions of the supermarket's freezer section.

So with budget friendly, sustainable, and a treasure trove of creative product development in focus, it's no wonder the frozen aisle is more exciting than ever. Three takeouts from our Frozen 2023 report are:

1. Pop Culture ­– TV and film hits are making their mark in the frozen category… Think Squid Games-inspired chicken nuggets (shaped as circles, squares and triangles), or 'potato mashies' with coloured fillings (to play the 'red light, green light' game, of course!). Stranger Things also debuted in our freezer aisles with a range based on those found in the series such as Scoops Ahoy ice cream in three flavours, Barry's Burgers brisket patties, Hellfire Club hot wings and Surfer Boy pizza.

2. Functional Frozen – Going frozen, doesn't mean compromising on health credentials – and there is lots of innovation in functional and fortified frozen products in particular. From low-carb chicken nuggets, to functional frappés with collagen and lion's mane, to protein-packed ice cream sandwiches… our freezers are no longer seen as just a place for pizzas and chips.

3. Environmental Impact – In this category, issues surrounding sustainability are anything but frozen! From minimising industry waste by freezing perennial must-haves (e.g. avocados) and in some cases creating something totally new in the process (e.g. turning unsold loaves into garlic bread), to powering whole factories via solar power alone(!) – frozen food is changing much more than our shopping lists.


Subscribers can access the full Frozen 2023 categorywatching report here. If you're not yet subscribed but are interested in accessing our regular reporting then get in contact via the link below.