Why are frozen foods particularly affected by inflation?

Noah Moussa

This is one of the consequences of inflation, frozen products are becoming more and more expensive, because the price of energy is also soaring, as is the price of packaging and raw materials. In an interview with the “Journal du Dimanche”, the boss of the E. Leclerc stores, Michel-Édouard Leclerc, believes that inflation will continue this year.

It is a must in our shopping basket, frozen foods. These products so coveted by the French are not spared by inflation: if the average annual inflation in 2022 was 5.2%, the average increase in food prices in the distribution was 12% in 2022. In an interview given to Sunday newspaper, the boss of the E. Leclerc stores, Michel-Édouard Leclerc estimates that “inflation will continue during the first six months of the year and should reach a peak between April and June”. In question, the increase in the cost of energy.

+32% on frozen meats

Although present on all food products, the price increase is particularly strong on certain frozen products. Among them, frozen meats have increased by 32% in one year according to the firm IRI; ready meals +15% or vegetables +14%. In question, the increase in the cost of energy, according to Valérie Lasserre, general delegate of the Cold Logistics Chain. “Frozen products are kept at a temperature below -18°. Energy consumption is necessarily very high. A cold store, between 20 and 25% of its loads, is energy. second job after that of the staff”, she explains.

An additional cost compared to other products

For Valérie Lasserre, the link between the price of energy and the price of frozen products has a direct link. “The composition of our prices includes the cost of our charges. Clearly, the energy dimension is important and to be taken into consideration in the total composition of the costs of frozen products”, she concludes.

So, in addition to the rising price of packaging and shortages of raw materials, which impact all food products, frozen products also have to deal with high energy costs.