The market research organization said that the frozen food sector has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth, as consumers are eating at home more often and manufacturers have innovated with healthier options that also tap into demand for convenience. Packaged Facts’ “Frozen Foods in the U.S., 3rd Edition” report found that from 2006-2010 sales of frozen foods rose 22 percent, or about $10bn, to reach a total value of $56bn in 2010.
Publisher of Packaged Facts Don Montuori said: "A lingering effect of the recession is that consumers are eating at home more. This trend has had a positive impact on the frozen foods market, as consumers turn to the freezer aisles to supplement more expensive fresh produce and meats. Additionally, microwaveable frozen products provide a quick and easy lunch-at-work for those looking to avoid pricey lunches out."
In addition, the report says that the economy is no longer holding back frozen food innovation. After two years of declines, the number of new frozen food and beverage product introductions reached a new high in 2010, increasing 21 percent on the previous year, to 728, more than in pre-recession 2007. The market researcher said this is “a sign that economic conditions are no longer discouraging frozen food marketers from bringing new products to the market.”
While frozen dinners and entrees continued to sell well in 2010, sales of frozen appetizers and snacks are flat, and the frozen juice category is in free-fall, the report said.
“Canned, bottled and frozen juices have all experienced losses in the millions as consumers turn to beverage options with less sugar, or to functional beverages such as energy drinks and enhanced waters,” according to the market researcher.
Packaged Facts predicts that the frozen food and beverage sector will reach $70bn in retail sales by 2015, up 25 percent on 2010.