Sold in more than 15,000 retailers throughout the US and Canada, Brazi Bites' current sales are approximately 60% higher than they were at the same time last year due to consumers flocking to the frozen food aisle in greater numbers during the height of the pandemic where they have discovered brands that could fulfill their needs for a convenient, healthy, and affordable meal time solution.
"For about 10 years we were building this better-for-you brand in the freezer section, and we were constantly trying to educate people about the freezer section," Rocha told FoodNavigator-USA.
"And then we see a massive acceleration of a message that we had been preaching."
According to Rocha, in one of the retailers where Brazi Bites is sold, the store saw a 7% increase in new consumers to the freezer aisle who had never shopped that set before.
Reaching Walmart shoppers
Launching four SKUs into 300 Walmart locations in its expanding better-for-you frozen section will give Brazi Bites access to a new set of consumers who are loyal to the retailer, said Rocha.
"We felt we were missing out on a number of consumers that were only shopping at Walmart. To us, it’s an opportunity to reach consumers that are not buying the brand, and at the same time, Walmart is bringing more consumers to their doors," she said, noting that families with kids at home represents a large part of its consumer audience.
As the largest retailer in the US, Walmart has attracted new consumers to its business in the past year as the retail giant expanded its digital capabilities including the launch of Walmart+, an annual membership shopping service.
While Brazi Bites is available to consumers through online channels including Instacart, Prime Now, and now, Walmart, Rocha said the brand still felt that it was missing out on a group of consumers that would rather order a single brand or item at a time (rather than having to build a virtual cart), and have it delivered directly to their door.
It's also now more feasible for frozen brands -- which often incur additional costs for shipping -- to take advantage of DTC services such as Amazon, added Rocha.
"Over the last year or so there’s been an infrastructure being built in the country to be able to lower the cost to ship these products. We felt like now was a good time to explore this channel," she said.
The vision for Brazi Bites, Rocha said, is to be available wherever and whenever the consumer wants to shop.
"For that consumer who's laying on the couch and just wants to push that button, Amazon is there for them. So that’s what we’re going to test out with Amazon," noted Rocha.
Brazi Bites Brazilian-style cheese bread is available on Amazon in 4-pack, 8-pack, and 12-pack quantities.
This year was a year of supporting its broad distribution network, and come next year, Brazi Bites will begin to enter new sub-categories within frozen food, shared Rocha.
"[In 2021] We are set to launch in the frozen breakfast category, and bring a whole new product line to consumers that are shopping in the freezer section but looking for new consumption occasions," said Rocha.