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Category Insights Frozen Food

Frozen Food is often one of the biggest categories in a grocery store.
Over 50% of people eat frozen food at least once a week. In research conducted by You-Gov & E.ON 25% of interview respondents said that they use and cook frozen food three times a week.

Regio­na­lism, trends, promo­ti­ons

Regio­nal trends appear, espe­ci­ally for vege­ta­bles, snacks and finger food, while potato products, fruits, ready meals and bakery have the biggest share in turno­ver. If you look at volume instead of turno­ver, the biggest sub-cate­go­ries are vege­ta­bles, pizza and fish (Niel­sen, Market Track, 2016). This could be a result of the high number of promo­ti­ons in these cate­go­ries. Other­wise frozen food is a cate­gory with a very small promo­tion share (10–20%, depen­ding on the store size). Pizza is still a big part of frozen food and a study by Forsa & Dr Oetker shows that 65% of pizza lovers use frozen pizza because they don’t have enough time to prepare & cook fresh food.
Every year the cate­gory grows further, with the addi­tion of more and more inno­va­tions. In spite of the high numbers of shop­pers buying frozen food, most people still believe that fresh food, properly cook at home, tastes much better that the frozen alter­na­tive.

Visi­bi­lity and orien­ta­tion are getting more important

But as the number of in store free­zers has grown in the last years, retail­ers need to improve the visi­bi­lity and orien­ta­tion

Quelle: Studie dti (deut­sches Tief­kühl­in­sti­tut) & Bormann & Gordon, 2013.

Case studies with push­feed systems

Tesco were among the first to reco­g­nise this, and instal­led self-facing push­feed systems a few years ago in their frozen food sections in the UK. Also the compa­nies Unile­ver, Deut­sche See and Iglo are alre­ady using push­feed and lift systems for their products.
REWE Group, a leading retail orga­ni­sa­tion with more than 15,700 stores in 12 Euro­pean count­ries, instal­led push­feeds for frozen food in all their stores in Germany.
To analyse the effect of the push­feed system in their free­zer sections REWE have colla­bo­ra­ted with POS Tuning in a joint rese­arch study.
REWE wanted to achieve a better under­stan­ding of the impact of the new product presen­ta­tion. The study was desi­gned and execu­ted by the Univer­sity of Duis­burg and the agency Shop­per­me­trics in Hamburg.

Test and control stores were defi­ned, and the rese­arch method included inter­views with shop­pers and store employees, coun­ting and obser­va­tion of shop­pers by video camera and analy­sis of REWE scan­ner­data for both test and control stores for 30 weeks (compa­ring data for the current and the previous year).


The results showed that there was a 9% sales increase in test stores. The decis­ion rate of buyers in the frozen food section was 3% higher in stores with push­feed systems. In total the shop­pers stayed longer in the cate­gory and bought more. The inter­views showed an increase in over­all shop­per and store employee satis­fac­tion.
In the control stores without push­feeds inter­view results showed that there was a poor product visi­bi­lity and it was diffi­cult to reach products. For the retailer the lack of order and poor shop­per orien­ta­tion means longer door opening times and ther­e­fore higher energy costs – free­zers cause appro­xi­m­ately 40–50% of power comsump­tion in the average grocery retail outlet.

In the test stores shop­pers repor­ted that product selec­tion was much more easily done before opening the door due to the better visi­bi­lity of each and every product.
Tesco measu­red another posi­tive effect after instal­ling the self-facing systems: the labour costs for tidy­ing the frozen food shel­ves drop­ped signi­fi­cantly.