The frozen food market, which for the purpose of this analysis comprises seafood, ready meals, potato products, hot and cold eating desserts, vegetables, pizza, vegetarian foods, sausages, pies, pastry rolls, hand held snacks, quiche and fruit, is worth more than £2.4bn annually. The most growth was seen in the area of pizza, up 11.8% to £260m and sausages which increased 8% in value to £106m. But while seven of the categories incorporated into this market's statistics saw increases, seven had declining sales. The three largest sectors all suffered. Seafood dropped 0.3% to £558m, ready meals was down 2% to £435m, and worse affected was the potato products sector which declined almost 13% to £307m. Every category within potato products, except microwaveable chips and others' (which includes waffles) declined this year ­ and severely. Combination cook chips were down 31%, fry declined 21%, shaped/coated 17%, and oven chips 12%.This was attributed largely to declining potato prices, as volumes were up. McCain, the leading player in the chip category, had two of its products in the top 20 products listing. Its Oven Chips came in at number four and its Micro Chips at number five. Within pizza, snack varieties rose 135% to £1.8m, while individual, standard and extra large all saw good increases. Those suffering were multipacks/grills, French bread and pizza slices. The leading player within the market was Birds Eye. Its fish fingers took top slot at £43m, a rise of 0.2% this year, followed by Country Club Peas. Its Menu Master other European meat product in third place dropped 20%, reflecting the general trend away from red meat. Most growth, however, came from Chicago Town individual pizza up 55% to £15m, and Goodfellas standard pizza up 18% to £17m. The major events this year have included celebrity chef Gary Rhodes' move into the freezer cabinet with a range of ready meals for one. This is a combined venture with Hazlewood Foods. Price points are between £1.69 and £3.59 which are designed to pull the sector out of the 99p rut. There has been quite a lot of activity on the children's front. In November, Kershaws launched the Treat & Sweet range comprising a meal with a choc ice and a novelty toy, and Perkins, in the same month, launched Aliens, a chicken and potato shaped coated product. Earlier this year Macfisheries came in with Fish 'n' Ships which was also accompanied by toys. In October, Findus launched its Pasta Choice range with a £1.5m support package, designed to move prices away from that 99p sticking point. Most significant for the ethnic foods market was Patak's move into the freezer cabinet with a range of authentic accompaniments, starters, ready meals and complete meals for one. This followed its sister company Kirpac's acquisition of Top Hat Foods. But there were other ethnic developments too. Sharwood's came in with its Balti Menu and Indian menu incorporating a main meal, accompaniment, rice and naan, and The Mexican Tortilla Co introduced its Fajita Meal. In August, Heinz announced that it is aiming to shake off its novelty pizza tag by moving into mainstream deep pan pizzas, this time with three non-baked bean varieties. In the same month, Young's moved fish in sauce products upmarket with a range of three microwaveable lines retailing between £1.99 and £2.99. The Fish & Sauce labelled products came in six varieties. Meanwhile, the decision came to axe the Ross name from all Chip Shop packs, to replace its with the higher quality image of the Young's branding. Half way through the year McCain revamped its core mainmeal frozen pizza range under the Deep name and later introduced its Rising Pizza which came with an unbaked base which is designed to rise in the oven to give a freshly produced texture. Birds Eye has continued implementing its measures to restore consumer confidence following the industry's BSE crisis. Throughout the year it has been repositioning its brand, which has been supported by high profile advertising, while continuing its Commitment to Quality campaign.{{FEATURES }}