In 2019, Birds Eye, in partnership with Iceland stores, commissioned research by the Manchester Metropolitan University to look at how the nation perceives frozen food and the power of frozen food. An addendum to this research was carried out from April to May 2020 by asking 2000 respondents via www.onepoll.com, on how life in lockdown has affected our shopping habits and perceptions of frozen food.
Since lockdown began, a third (33%) of all UK shoppers are using their freezer more efficiently and a further one in five (21%) are including more frozen foods in their cooking.
The cost-saving power of Frozen
Cost-saving is a driving force behind why shoppers are re-igniting their love for frozen.
- One in five (21%) have noticed how frozen items can be better value for money than fresh.
- 17% agree they can get far more for their money from shopping frozen.
- Frozen food offers around a 30% cost-saving in comparison to fresh; did you know that the average family could save a whopping £1,500 a year by incorporating more frozen food into their food shops!
- Over a third (34%) of shoppers are planning to tighten their purse strings when it comes to food shopping after lockdown, and almost a quarter (24%) plan to continue buying more frozen food after lockdown than they did before.
Choosing to buy frozen food not only can help save you money but can also help to reduce food waste.
In 2019 over £188 million worth of food was wasted nationwide each week - and for every £1 spent at the till, more than 15p was money down the drain due to the amount of fresh food thrown away.
Waste? What waste?
In 2019, 85% of consumers expressed a desire to reduce their household food waste, but a quarter of those admitted to not knowing where to start.
Lockdown has given shoppers the time to reflect on their waste, with almost half (47%) of those polled expressing they are far more conscious of the food that their household is wasting since March. Frozen food is a great place to start if you're looking to reduce your food waste: the convenient way it can be divided into portions so that only what is needed is taken and its 'shelf longevity' makes it a fantastic choice.
Captain Birds Eye was replaced for a limited period (for the first time in our 50+ year history!) by Charlotte Carter-Dunn. Charlotte was selected to appear on thousands of Limited Edition fish fingers' packs in Iceland stores after impressing judges in our nationwide competition to find a real frozen food hero, who uses their freezer in clever ways to trim money off their weekly food budget and save on food waste.
Charlotte's Frozen Food Tips
1. Frozen foods can be just as delicious as their fresh counterparts. I use a lot of frozen vegetables in cooking and notice no difference in terms of taste or texture – plus you can take the amount you need and it saves throwing away veg that's going off.
2. I freeze any leftovers from meals and at the end of the month I make 'iffits' for dinner - If it's there, eat it! This means saving money, reducing food waste and making more room in my freezer for the next shop.
3. Keep easy frozen meal components in the freezer for when you don't fancy cooking, so you don't waste money on a takeaway.
4. We’ve all been guilty of freezing leftovers and forgetting they are there. Try splitting your freezer into three parts:
- Add ons – in this drawer store your vegetables and potato products that you most regularly add in to meals.
- 30-minute wonders – foods that can be popped into the oven and help get dinner in front of the family in next to no time. This could be fish fingers (or as my two foster children call them, freezer tapas!) or a leftover meal.
- Not quite ready items – all of your meat, fish and other ingredients that need to be defrosted or added as a component to a recipe.
5. Buy frozen BBQ food! There are lots of amazing options when it comes to frozen meat and fish. Instead of spending a fortune making numerous homemade dishes to suit different family members, simply pop some frozen fish or meat in the oven and finish it off on the BBQ. No one can tell the difference and there is far less stress (and washing up) involved.