The meat-free/vegetarian market is worth £630m this year [TNS Superpanel 52 w/e January 30, 2005], up 4.5% on last year. Chilled accounts for more than 70% and this share continues to grow.
Frozen is growing at a slower rate, with an increase of 2.6% in sales value and a small volume decline of 0.9%. New buyers in the market have driven chilled sales and volume growth (5.3% and 6.2% respectively).
Vegetable products are in decline in frozen this year due to a big drop in sales of vegetable ready meals. Analogue (vegetarian meat substitute) has had a good year, turning round its decline (sales up 14%), and is now worth more than 45% of frozen and growing.
Ingredients, sausages and snacks are leading the growth of the frozen meat-free category. Chilled follows a similar route - comminutes and ingredients have been the winners (again analogue). Good news for Quorn (Marlow Foods), which is the largest branded contender and has a business that is entirely based on the analogue sector.
Own label accounts for more than 80% of chilled meat-free. Branded still has 66% of frozen meat-free, although own label is growing. Quorn has experienced more than a quarter value growth in the past year, due to growing its buyer base and heavier purchasing.
Linda McCartney (Heinz) is in the number two branded position, but is underperforming. This is due to the decline in the vegetable sector, which accounts for 25% of its business. McCartney has done well in the analogue ready meals and pastry products categories and has sustained no loss in sausages, due to strong performance in Morrisons and Waitrose.
Tesco is still champion of the meat-free category with a share of more than 30%. Own-label ranges continue to emerge and gain strength in the frozen meat-free category.
Tamara Kysel, TNS Superpanel
Produced for The Grocer by TNS Superpanel. For more information call 020 8967 4521