Retail pizza market on upswing, Innova reports

The foodservice sector is one of the strongest areas for the pizza market in most countries, but retail sales of chilled and frozen lines are showing good growth as a result of ongoing product and promotional activity, often focusing on producing restaurant-quality options for in-home consumption, according to a recent report from Innova market Insights, a UK-based market research firm. Recent launch activity has focused on brand extensions, promotional tie-ins, authentic and traditional-style products and healthier alternatives.
The Innova Database has recorded rising launch numbers for retail packaged frozen and chilled pizzas in recent years, with global introductions in the first eight months of 2010 already nearly 90% of the total for the whole of 2009. The most developed convenience foods markets of the US and western Europe have dominated launch activity, accounting for over 80% of the total recorded so far in 2010.
The US accounted for about one-third of launches recorded, and activity focused heavily on frozen pizza, where sales are worth about US$4bn (EUR2.9bn) a year, in a total pizza industry worth closer to US$40bn (EUR29bn). Nestle’s acquisition of Kraft’s North American frozen pizza business in early 2010 has given Nestle between 35% and 40% of the market and five of the top 10 brands. Over in Europe, Germany and the UK have the most developed retail pizza markets, although they differ in the dominance of frozen pizza on the German market, while chilled and frozen sales are much more evenly matched in the UK. One of the most interesting aspects of launch activity in the UK market so far in 2010 has been the high level of branded activity in the chilled pizza market, which is traditionally, as with the UK chilled meals market as a whole, dominated by retailer own brands.
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