The freeze on quick-frozen foods
The UK frozen product market has remained stagnant for several years, as was confirmed in 2004 reports. Competing with an innovative refrigerated foods market in full expansion, the sales volume dropped over 2% during 2004, despite having 99% market penetration. According to UBIFRANCE, this stagnation could be explained by the fact that "Quick-frozen" has a poor image and these products are considered to be bottom of the range by a large percentage of the population - an image which is only heightened by the influx of special offers and price cuts. Great Britain offers a mature quick-frozen foods market with retail sales up to £3.6 billion. However, the chilled-food market is still climbing from its £5 billion level and shows even higher growth rates for ready-to-eat meals and pizza. This is a market viewed as being more practical, offering higher quality produce, in which top of the range products dominate. Great Britain is one of the greatest consumers of frozen food per inhabitant (45-50 kg per year), significantly above Spain or Italy where the average is 24 kg per inhabitant per year and where the prevailing preference lies in fresh produce.