Offering value to shoppers and spearheading the ‘fakeaway’ trend, the frozen category is continuing to grow. Find out why convenience retailers should look to their frozen aisle to drive sales in 2024.

Frozen food is an essential part of people’s shopping baskets, with 99.3% of UK households purchasing frozen products[Kantar]. And within convenience, the category has grown by 16.2% over the last year and is now worth £168.4m[Nielsen].

Recent Birds Eye research has shown that nearly half (43%) of convenience retailers reported an increase in the demand for frozen food over the last year[KAM], either at the same rate or at a higher rate than other categories. 

For example, Pooja Keshwala, who runs Ansley Post Office in Nuneaton, comments: “I much prefer to keep stock that is frozen as I’ve seen such a heightened demand from my customers recently.”

This demand demonstrates a huge opportunity for the category in the months ahead, as consumers continue to look for easy, nutritious meal options they can find in their local convenience store.

Katie Adomeit, commercial manager at Birds Eye, says: “The frozen category is becoming more significant than ever, especially with shoppers looking for value for money. Frozen food can be a great solution for shoppers on a budget as it inherently helps reduce food wastage, as consumers only need to use exactly what is needed for that meal. There are several ways you can maximise this sales opportunity and tap into frozen food growth in 2024.

“While consumers are mindful of budgets, they are still not willing to compromise on quality, nutrition, or taste[IGD] when shopping for frozen food, they want to buy food they know their families will enjoy. Some of the key category trends we are seeing include an increased emphasis on the Big Night In occasion, especially ‘fakeaway’ options, as shoppers look to recreate the experience of dining out in the home.

”As well as this, families are looking for convenient mealtime staples that everyone will enjoy – such as fish, chips, and peas. It’s therefore vital that retailers are demonstrating the value of the category, as well as ensuring that the frozen fixture can be easily navigated so that consumers can create a balanced meal for all occasions.”

Health and frozen foods

Health continues to be high on the agenda for many consumers as one of the most important purchase drivers, second only to great taste[U&A], so it’s essential to offer a range of frozen meal components and solutions that deliver on nutrition as well as being convenient. You can help your shoppers by using fixtures to reflect how consumers plan for meals using proven merchandising flows. This provides inspiration and makes the category easy to navigate, meaning that shoppers can see which sides go best with which meal centres.

Meeting this dual demand for healthier choices and great tasting food brings challenges, but Birds Eye has made it a priority to evolve its product portfolio to benefit the health and wellbeing of shoppers. For example, 88% of the Goodfella’s pizza range is now non-HFSS, with the aim of reaching 100% in 2024 and all of Birds Eye fish, chicken and vegetable ranges are classified as non-HFSS compliant.

Five tips to boost sales

Celebrate the Big Night In: With many people considering forgoing the weekend takeaway or meal out, shoppers are looking to up their game with ‘fakeaway’ choices. Where appropriate, look to run promotions with other categories like frozen desserts or soft drinks, or consider an always-on area within the freezer that is stocked with items like pizza or garlic bread to cater to the Big Night In occasion. Birds Eye’s Goodfella’s takeaway-style pizzas and Birds Eye Chicken Shop range have been specifically designed to tap into the ‘fakeaway’ occasion, delivering on taste, convenience and value.

Create meal deals: Meal deals represent an important sales driver and are the perfect way to provide value to those looking for a complete meal solution, so make you are offering these where possible during key occasions like sporting and seasonal events. For example, deals on roast dinner components during the Easter or festive period can be key to encouraging shoppers to purchase the full meal in your store. If you introduce a cross-category meal deal, ensure that the other products are placed next to the freezer and POS advertising the deal is clearly visible.

Separate savoury and sweet: Space permitting, ensure there is dedicated savoury and sweet sections in their freezer so that customers can easily find what they are looking for. A good way to ensure clarity in the freezer is to block by variants, such as chicken, fish, sides, and then meal solutions like pizza or ready meals, with a separate section for desserts and ice cream.

Don’t forget deliveries: Grocery delivery from convenience stores is becoming more and more popular, as shoppers look to get essentials from store to door quickly and efficiently. One Stop retailer, Aman Uppal, explains the trends he is seeing in his store for frozen deliveries: “Delivery orders for frozen food are increasing in my store, as shoppers look for easy and convenient meal options throughout the week. Our delivery partners are key to making frozen deliveries work, by collecting and dropping off products quickly so that they retain their freshness. On a Sunday morning, we often see a small spike for frozen roast dinner components like Yorkshire puddings or stuffing as consumers prepare for this meal occasion. Throughout the rest of the week, chips and frozen veg are our bestselling frozen delivery items.”

If you already have a delivery partner or offer a delivery service, ensuring that your frozen range is included can help unlock a new revenue stream as shoppers look for convenient meal solutions that can be delivered right to their doors.

And finally, maintain your core range: Prioritise stocking a core range of bestsellers in the freezer, such as chicken, fish, pizza, and vegetables, which shoppers look for to create simple meals for the most common shopping missions. This ensures that demand for these products can always be fulfilled, and customers won’t walk away empty handed.


Birds Eye has a strong list of SKUs in its bestselling core range which are recommended to stock, including:

  • Birds Eye Chicken Dippers
  • Birds Eye Fish Fingers
  • Birds Eye Garden Peas
  • Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle chips
  • Goodfella’s range of pizzas

These are classic products that shoppers know and love, supporting repeat purchases within the category.

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