Competition between brands in the European frozen market is tough, marked in particular by stiff price competition.
In the UK's £3.4 billion frozen food market, for example, a recent report from Mintel highlights a fall in the £690 million frozen ready meals market, resulting from competition with chilled ready mills and price promotions on the shelves.
A round-up of products rolled out onto the European market this month show manufacturers looking to quirky potato products, premium range prepared meals and Asian convenience foods for growth.
Retailed at €1.59 Dutch firm Aviko launched 'Mild Gekruide Frites' this month, slated as "wild Mexican mildly spiced potato chips, with onion and garlic flavour." Also available in 'Mystic Indian with Black Pepper and Curry.', the potato product contains modified potato starch, rice flour, dextrin, maltodextrin, raising agents (E450, E500), condiments, dextrose, thickeners (E413, E415), flavour, and yeast extracts.
Making a stab at the blooming Asia cuisine appeal, Woolworths rolled out 'Imperial Mix Stir Fry with Baby Corn' (€3.34) containing butter beans, green beans, broccoli, baby corn (10%), sugarsnap peas, water chestnuts, spring onions.
Onto indulgence, fresh bananas rolled in milk chocolate and then frozen hit the Czech Republic last week. Priced at €1.18 the bananas 'coated in Belgian chocolate' are available in 35g packs.
A "creamy festival chocolate ice cream with 2 per cent advocaat and 1 per cent chocolate pieces" moved onto shelves in Germany earlier this week, launched by Roncadin.
Priced at €2.95, the ingredients in the product include carob gum, guar gum, cocoa mass, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, whey product, butter oil, iodised salt, flavour (hazelnut) and colour.
Hitting the premium range for frozen ready meals, retailer Morrisons has launched an own luxury brand of the British classic shepherds pie, which it describes as 'tender lamb pieces in a rich red wine gravy topped with creamy mashed potato and a Cheddar cheese and rosemary crust.'
Ingredients include: potato 44%, lamb 20%, onions, breadcrumbs 3.5%, wheatflour, Cheddar cheese 2.3%, vegetable oil, salt, yeast, dried rosemary, red wine, carrots, skimmed milk, single cream, butter, celery, lamb stock, wheatflour, redcurrant jelly, modified maize starch, tomato puree, mint, salt, malt extract, white pepper, black pepper.