The frozen food category is experiencing all-time consumer interest over the past year, with momentum expected to continue. This March, National Frozen Food Month, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) anticipates home cooks will continue to reach for their favorite frozen foods.
This National Frozen Food Month, consider these three tips for maximizing the many benefits of frozen foods:
Mix frozen and fresh. To most frozen food consumers (72 percent), it’s not frozen or fresh – it’s frozen and fresh (Power of Frozen, 2021). “Mixing fresh and frozen in the same meal is a tell-tale trait of our core frozen food consumers,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. The frozen aisle is full of single ingredients, side dishes and entrees that can all mix well with fresh, and vice versa: add frozen berries and fresh spinach to your smoothie, bake a side of sweet potato fries to pair with lunch, or serve your favorite frozen pizza with a side salad.
Add more fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables can play an essential role in helping achieve a well-rounded, healthy diet. New research from the Produce for Better Health Foundation shows Americans are eating fruits and vegetables less frequently, trending down an astonishing 10 percent since 2004 and down 3 percent in just the past five years (State of the Plate, 2020). “Keeping frozen produce handy helps reduce food waste and the variety of fruit and vegetable offerings in the frozen aisle make it easy to incorporate them into any meal occasion,” noted Bodor. “Spiralized and riced vegetables are commonplace now. We’re seeing the next round of innovation in frozen vegetables with family-sized vegetables for roasting or grilling and new varieties with global sauces and seasonings.”
Try the latest frozen trends. The growing number of health-conscious consumers are expected to drive the market for immunity boosting foods (The Business Research Company). The frozen food aisle provides power packed superfood staples like berries, salmon, and spinach, to protein and grain bowls to meet consumer demand.
As consumers adjusted to the impact of COVID-19 over the past year, record numbers have turned to the frozen food aisle for inspiration and solutions while preparing meals more often at home. In 2020, frozen food sales grew by more than 21 percent with nearly all categories seeing double-digit sales increases.
“The frozen food category is hotter than ever,” said Bodor. “Loyal fans of frozen foods are purchasing more than usual and new customers are discovering the expansion and culinary innovation within the category.”
The American Frozen Food Institute is the member-driven national trade association representing all segments of the frozen food supply chain from manufacturers to suppliers and distributors. AFFI advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf, serves as the voice for the industry and convenes industry leadership to create an environment where frozen foods are essential in a dynamic marketplace. www.affi.org.