Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/02/2014 -- The performance expected in frozen processed food in 2013 was even better than in the previous year, and is set to record an increase in volume terms of 1%, and 3% in current value terms. In fact the category was only marginally affected by the economic crisis in Italy. The key factors supporting the good performance of frozen processed food were convenience, healthier recipes and the significant development of some categories, such as frozen meat substitutes, frozen pizza and frozen bakery. According to marketers, Italian per capita consumption of frozen products, compared with the average in other Western European countries, indicates that there is still considerable potential to increase penetration.
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The brand leader in frozen processed food is expected to remain Findus, which was sold in 2010 by Unilever to Iglo Bird's Eye Frozen Foods. The brand is expected to maintain its share in frozen processed fish/seafood and vegetables and just a slight decline in frozen potatoes while it faces continued competition from private label and Buitoni.
Although frozen processed food manufacturers were happy to continue recording growth in 2013, they are nonetheless aware of the high number of threats facing this category. Marketers believe that there are too many brands stimulating the competition, and there is no clear leader setting market trends. Frozen processed food is sometimes quoted as an unrewarding area, as it requires frequent production investment, which is not always cost-effective. Lastly, private label brands lead sales and are aggressive. Therefore, the offering should become more rationalised over the coming years, with the withdrawal of brands likely. Despite these issues, frozen processed food manufacturers are expected to invest large sums in the development of new products and the introduction of alternative healthier products over the forecast period, in order to counter the competition from cheaper private label products. This scenario could lead to an increase in bias, favouring premium and private label lines at the expense of average quality or secondary brands, at least in the dominant categories.
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