Former Iceland founder and frozen food supremo Malcolm Walker thinks there's still plenty of life in the frozen food discounting business. So much so he's even come out of retirement to launch his brand new chain Cooltrader. However, things have changed a lot since he took his first few steps into the frozen food world with Iceland 30 years ago. "Iceland was quite unique. There were other freezer centres around but they were selling half a lamb and big packs," he recalls. "We were the first to sell loose frozen goods. We came from a totally different direction." Since then, however, the frozen food market has seen competition getting more and more intense. "It's been 30 years of evolution," says Walker. "When I started, supermarkets didn't sell frozen food. They allowed the freezer centres to take off only because they were so slow to exploit the sector." But now the multiples all have large frozen food sections which brings added competition into the sector. Iceland has also changed, he adds, saying that it sells more of a mixture of goods. "Iceland has gone from 100% frozen food to frozen becoming less and less a percentage of total sales. It probably only accounts for about 47%-48% of sales." Walker says his new venture is an attempt to take things back to where Iceland used to be, about 20 years ago, concentrating on frozen. He says despite the flat market and intense competition, frozen food still has potential: "If it's done properly then it's still a viable business. There's obviously still scope in the industry otherwise I would not be going back into it." l See pages 38-41 {{COVER FEATURE }}