The frozen foods boom appears to be over, as an unexpected fall in volume was revealed this week.

Although value sales were up just 1.6% to £5.1bn in the year ending 21 March, volumes were down 0.7% [Kantar Worldpanel]. The worst-hit category was meat and poultry, which saw volumes fall 7.7% year-on-year as a result of price hikes.

The cold snap in early 2010 stopped consumers getting to supermarkets to buy frozen food, said Brian Young, DG of the British Frozen Food Federation.

However, it was not all gloom as sales of ice cream rose 5.2% year-on-year, with volumes up 6.0%, and Young expected better to come with widespread forecasts of a hot summer.

Frozen food had proved popular in the recession and suppliers such as Birds Eye advertised its health benefits.