Frozen food remains a hot category in the US

28 Jan 2022

Even as supply chain constraints cool off and shopper purchasing patterns shift from what they were at the height of the pandemic, frozen food remains a category that is still benefitting from the renaissance it underwent in the past two years.

Going forward, Adnan Durrani, the founder of the ethnic frozen food brand Saffron Road, said in an opinion piece published by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) that ethnic flavors will be what helps the category continue to maintain its growth momentum in 2022.

Frozen food remains a hot category in the US

An aisle that was once the domain of stodgy food options and highly-processed fare has undergone a transformation in recent years as labels like antibiotic-free, grass-fed and non-GMO have begun to grace the front of frozen packages. This update for formulations and packaging was coupled with the surge in demand ignited by the pandemic that led to frozen category sales soaring 23% or 200% above fresh food sales, according to a Deloitte study. Over the course of 2020, nearly all segments of frozen food saw double-digit sales increases, but seafood, poultry and appetizers saw the largest overall growth.

“The frozen food aisle has been a growth driver for retailers since 2016 with acceleration ahead of most other departments,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor in a statement on the trends seen over the course of 2020. “Frozen foods are a pandemic powerhouse ringing in $65.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a 21% increase compared to a year ago.”

A large driving force behind this increase was the entrance of new customers into the space. And, according to Durrani, the category is still attracting interest from shoppers that have not previously relied on frozen options. “An unprecedented 30% of our growth over the last year (2021) has come from new-to-brand consumers and 70% of growth is from current consumers doubling or tripling their purchases,” he said in the opinion piece.

These new shoppers — which Durrani cites that his company’s data is finding to be mainly Millennials —are searching for better-for-you than fresh options that boast authentic flavors and innovative formulations. Flavors that are currently driving sales are Asian and Indian flavors, but Durrani says, “I anticipate we’ll start seeing more in Mediterranean, South American, Peruvian and Vietnamese cuisines, further helping to grow the category in years to come.”

To maximize success in the segment, both emerging and established brands will need to listen to the consumer and deliver options that cater to the trends, which are continually evolving. According to data from the AFFi, 58% of shoppers are purchasing different kinds of frozen foods while 57% are buying brands that they did not shop for prior to the pandemic. Adaptability, says Durrani, will be key.

Read the Opinion Piece Here

Related news

Chewing gum launched to stop sweet cravings in their tracks

Chewing gum launched to stop sweet cravings in their tracks

27 Jan 2022

Now, instead of reducing sugar intake by selecting food carefully, consumers can stop sugary treat cravings in their tracks with botanical-infused chewing gum from the Israeli start-up Sweet Victory. This new gum blocks sugar receptors on the tongue wi...

Read more 
Mosa Meat announces how to cultivate protein without FBS

Mosa Meat announces how to cultivate protein without FBS

26 Jan 2022

Mosa Meat, one of the world’s leading cultivated meat producers, revealed how it creates animal protein without the use of the controversial ingredient FBS (fetal bovine serum) in a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Nature Food.

Read more 
French alternative bacon company lands €25 million

French alternative bacon company lands €25 million

25 Jan 2022

Three-year-old French startup La Vie, formerly known as 77 Foods, secured €25 million ($28.3M) in one of the largest funding rounds in French food tech history. With funding in hand, the company is looking to expand the reach of its plant-based bacon p...

Read more 
Monster Energy acquires US brewery collective

Monster Energy acquires US brewery collective

24 Jan 2022

In order to expand into the alcohol space, Monster Energy acquired the craft beer and hard seltzer company Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective for $330 million in cash, according to a press release. The transaction brings the brands Cigar City, Oskar Blu...

Read more 
Codex approves global framework for stevia production

Codex approves global framework for stevia production

21 Jan 2022

Codex Alimentarius has adopted a Framework for Steviol Glycosides approving four different technologies for the production of the sweetener, a move that stakeholders say will ‘benefit the entire stevia industry’.

Read more 
Chobani debuts plant-based coffee creamer

Chobani debuts plant-based coffee creamer

21 Jan 2022

After two years of producing dairy- and oat-based coffee creamers, Chobani is branching into plant-based coffee pairing options with the debut of Chobani Plant-Based Coffee Creamers. These creamers come in four flavors: Caramel Macchiato, Chocolate Haz...

Read more 
India stands out as a promising market for plant-based growth

India stands out as a promising market for plant-based growth

20 Jan 2022

Irish ingredients company Kerry identified India as a particularly high-growth market for plant-based proteins. Thanks to the fact that one-third of India’s population identifies as vegetarian while the remaining 70% regularly eat meals without meat, t...

Read more 
White House gives $1B to combat inflated meat prices in the US

White House gives $1B to combat inflated meat prices in the US

19 Jan 2022

The U.S. White House announced in early January that it will contribute $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to independent meat processors in order to increase competition within the industry and lower protein prices. This plan includes $375 mil...

Read more 
Animal-free dairy company raises $120M for commercialization

Animal-free dairy company raises $120M for commercialization

18 Jan 2022

Israeli animal-free dairy company Remilk raised $120 million in a Series B funding round led by Hanaco Ventures with participation from a number of other investors, including Impossible Foods backer CPT Capital, plant-based protein company Just, Yofix,...

Read more 
What do Europeans really want from plant-based foods?

What do Europeans really want from plant-based foods?

17 Jan 2022

Familiar ingredients, more product choice and lower prices are just some of the attributes European consumers are looking for in plant-based foods, according to the findings of a recent ProVeg consumer survey.

Read more