Frozen Is Back, In A Big Way

The Lempert Report
June 05, 2018

Volume growth for the frozen category has turned positive for the first time in five weeks ending March 10 according to Marketwatch.

The biggest portion of the frozen category is meals and appetizers, making up 35% of the group and with sales growth of 3%, the highest in five years.

Analysts, led by David Palmer, say frozen food has had a "stigma" attached to it for the past decade, with millennials seeking out "whole foods" for themselves and their families and staying away from foods perceived to be "engineered."

“But now, we believe frozen-food companies are catching up to align their frozen offerings to the attributes consumers demand,” RBC wrote.

“Consider than an estimated 80% of fresh food in the U.S. is wasted each year as consumers often overbuy fresh food or misalign their purchases and consumption, which causes unwanted spoiling,” said RBC. “These problems are largely alleviated with frozen vegetables and frozen meals.” 

“Frozen foods allow for convenient dining for so many who are strapped with budgets and having to cook for their families, or even those who have to cook for themselves,” said Lizzy Freier, managing editor of menu analysis at Technomic, a data and analytics provider for the food industry. 

RBC also thinks Netflix (and others like Hulu and Amazon) might have something to do with it. Meals consumed at home reached a nearly 30-year peak in 2017 at 78%, according to NPD Group data used in the RBC report. As more people work at home, more flat screens get bigger and cheaper and more people worry about personal security – it just may be a renewed time for frozen foods. Clarence Birdseye is smiling.