Frozen peas are shining a light on the cost of living crisis with demand for the humble, protein vegetable rising 20% on the year.
New data from Google Trends reveals that searches for ‘frozen peas’ in the UK increased 20% in the last 12 months, with more than 2000 hits in the last month alone.
With Great British Pea Week returning between July 3-9, this year, Yes Peas!, the industry campaign dedicated to championing the frozen pea, says Brits are increasingly shopping at Aldi and Lidl, rather than Morrisons, as they look to reduce the cost of their shopping basket.
The number of Brits who shop at least monthly at Aldi and Lidl has risen by 4.6% and 4.5% respectively, compared with the start of 2022. Meanwhile, the number of Brits shopping at Morrisons has decreased by 0.7%.
Great British Pea Week is the annual celebration that champions the UK pea industry, whose farmers work around the clock each summer to deliver 2bn portions of frozen peas to the nation each year – with most making it to the factory and through the freezing process in under two and a half hours!
Holly Jones, crop association executive at the British Growers Association, which runs the Yes Peas! campaign, comments: “Not only are peas incredibly cost-effective, they’re also a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals – making them a staple for any dinner plate”, she said.
“On top of this, in the UK we are nearly 90% self-sufficient in pea production, meaning that nearly all peas in supermarket freezers going into a trolley or online order are most likely grown by British farmers on a British farm – so the country’s local farmers are being supported when they are bought!”
Rupert Ashby, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation added: “In the 12-weeks to March 19 this year, the volume sales of frozen vegetables including peas grew by +1.3% (+978,000 tonnes) which shows that consumers are increasingly switching fresh for frozen. Frozen vegetables are a premium option as freezing locks in all the vitamins and nutrients ensuring that our vegetables and peas are always as fresh from the freezer as they were on the day they were picked.
“Frozen food also helps to reduce food waste, which accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Lots of food waste is caused before food even reaches supermarket shelves as vegetables can go off or get damaged in transport, but by freezing peas so soon after they are harvested means that spoilage is prevented and a huge number of ‘escapeas’ are saved from going to waste.”