With consumers preferring more natural and organic products and a growing emphasis on buzzwords like “fresh” and “healthy,” do frozen foods still appeal to the American appetite?
A recent report by market researcher Packaged Facts sought to answer that same question, and it came up with some encouraging results.
According to the study, “Frozen Foods in the U.S.: Hot Meals, Sides, and Snacks,” consumers are slowly warming up again to frozen foods. This is due in part to the obvious convenience frozen products offer as well as the recent introduction of more natural and organic frozen product offerings.
Researchers said consumers’ concerns about preservatives and other ingredients are alleviated by the idea that if the products are natural, then they must be fresher or healthier.
“Frozen foods of all kinds have been challenged in recent years as a result of the convergence of several trends, especially, but not exclusively, a growing demand for fresh products or, at least, fresher products in refrigerated rather than frozen form. Nevertheless, frozen food products still have much to offer,” says David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts research director. “For instance, frozen products identified as natural or organic are having a more positive experience than frozen foods in general. These organic and natural frozen foods appeal to the consumer who is both cost conscious and health conscious.”
While declining sales plagued the industry for several years, researchers at Packaged Facts say the outlook for the frozen food industry is encouraging and they estimate sales in the frozen categories of dinners/entrées, pizzas, side dishes, and appetizers/snacks increase from $22 billion in 2014 to $23 billion in 2019.
The full report from Packaged Facts can be viewed here.